China’s largest city tells schools to hold classes online
China’s largest city, Shanghai, has asked schools to hold classes online after the lifting of most of the toughest coronavirus restrictions led to a spike in cases in the country.
Primary, middle and high schools are expected to switch to remote learning from Monday, according to Shanghai’s education bureau. Kindergartens and childcare centers in the city of almost 25 million have also been instructed to halt all in-person classes.
China has been pursuing a so-called zero-Covid policy since the first outbreak of Covid-19 in the city of Wuhan in late 2019, with strict lockdowns and widespread testing.
However, last week the curbs were significantly relaxed across the country, causing a spike in case numbers.
China – where infections had been reduced to almost zero earlier this year – reported 2,286 new symptomatic coronavirus cases on Friday, 129 more than on the previous day. National health authorities have stopped announcing asymptomatic cases, as mass testing has been abandoned.
There are fears that Covid-19 could surge across the country’s population of 1.4 billion during next month’s Lunar New Year holiday, when many people in China travel.