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Days after reopening, France shuts 22 schools after Covid-19 outbreaks

A woman disinfects toys in a classroom at a school in Rothschild, Nice, on May 11, 2020.
A woman disinfects toys in a classroom at a school in Rothschild, Nice, on May 11, 2020. © Valery Hache, AFP
2 min

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said on Friday that 22 schools had so far been closed across France and in French territories due to cases of Covid-19, just days after some 12 million students returned to school on Tuesday. 

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"In mainland France there are currently 12 schools closed out of a total of more than 60,000, which is a small figure. In addition, 10 schools in La Réunion (a French department in the Indian Ocean) were closed, which makes the total 22," Blanquer told Europe 1 radio.

Up to 130 classes have also been halted and the minister said the authorities were investigating around 250 incidents related to Covid-19 in schools each day.

These incidents are mainly linked to "factors outside school, concerning people who could have been contaminated" over the summer, he said.

If a school reports more than three coronavirus cases the school is temporarily shut, Blanquer said.

But he said the first week of classes had gone "relatively well", adding that "despite the fears everyone went back and that makes me very happy".

As more than 12 million pupils returned to school in France on Tuesday, some parents and teachers' unions voiced concerns over plans for reopening classrooms as the spread of the virus picks up pace.

The health ministry said on Thursday it had registered more than 7,000 new coronavirus infections over 24 hours for the second time in two days, just shy of a 7,578 record set on March 31. 

Hospitalisations for the virus are also on the rise in France. 

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

 

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