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15 Apr, 2020 14:51

‘My child is not a guinea pig’ petition gets thousands of signatures as Denmark re-opens schools amid Covid-19 pandemic

‘My child is not a guinea pig’ petition gets thousands of signatures as Denmark re-opens schools amid Covid-19 pandemic

Denmark has made the decision to reopen schools for younger children after a month-long lockdown, becoming the first country in Europe to relax coronavirus restrictions on education.

Schools have been given new guidelines around limiting the number of children in classrooms and rearranging the desks two meters apart from each other. The measure was welcomed by some parents. Caroline, a 38-year-old mother of two, told AFP that she feels “really good about the kids going back to school.”

However, others are still worried that the easing of restrictions may be coming too soon. A petition titled ‘My child is not a guinea pig’ – aimed at keeping children at home for longer – has already garnered almost 18,000 signatures.

The reopening is expected to be gradual, although all schools are expected to have resumed normal operations by April 20 for the youngest children.

Hairdressers, gyms, night clubs, restaurants and cafes in Denmark are remaining closed for the foreseeable future.

The country has so far reported 6,876 confirmed cases of infections, with a death toll of 299. These figures are relatively low compared to many of its European neighbors.

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Denmark’s decision comes as other European countries – such as Austria – are gradually beginning to ease their respective lockdown measures. Austria’s schools are expected to remain closed until at least mid-May, however.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently warned that a speedy return to the 'business as usual' could trigger another wave of the deadly virus. According to the AFP tally, a total of more than two million people worldwide are now infected with the Covid-19.

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