Students in China’s Wuhan, the original epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, returned to class on September 1 as the city reopened all of its schools following a seven-month shutdown.
Nearly 1.4 million students resumed classes in around 2,800 kindergartens, primary schools and middle schools in the city. High schools were reopened in May, according to AFP.
State media broadcast images of students hoisting the Chinese flag, a daily routine in schools across the country.
Despite the reopening of schools, however, officials are remaining vigilant and have devised online teaching plans in the event of potential COVID-19 outbreaks.
In addition, students have been advised to wear masks while traveling to and from school and avoid public transportation if possible. Drills and training sessions to prepare students for new outbreaks will also be conducted at schools.
Shanghai reopened schools in May, while the country’s capital city of Beijing, which experienced a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in late June, will reopen all of its schools this month. In Beijing, teachers and students will also be required to wear masks on school property.
Wuhan was responsible for around 80% of China’s more than 4,600 COVID-19 deaths, according to AFP.
The city was under lockdown for more than two months starting in late January. The restrictions were lifted in April, and no new local transmissions of the virus have been reported in the city since May 18, according to Reuters.