China delays schools' return over virus fears

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 28 2020 11:39 AM

People wearing face masks pose for pictures at the Tiananmen Gate, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Beijing, China, Jan. 27, 2020. Carlos Garcia Rawlins, Reuters

BEIJING - China on Tuesday postponed the start of the spring semester for schools and universities across the country over concerns about a novel virus outbreak.

The decision came as the death toll from the new coronavirus soared to 106 and the total number of cases surpassed 4,000 nationwide.

Students are currently on holiday for the Lunar New Year and the education ministry did not provide a date for teaching to resume.

But a statement from the ministry said teaching institutions would reopen on a case-by-case basis.

School administrators had been instructed to "require students not to go out, not to gather and not to hold or participate in centralized activities", the statement added. 

Authorities on Monday decided to extend China's Lunar New Year holiday, originally due to end on Jan. 30, for 3 days to limit population flows and control the epidemic.

© Agence France-Presse