Japan PM calls for closure of public schools over virus

Agence France-Presse
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe requests public schools to close temporarily from March 2 until their spring break

CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS. Pupils of the Ariake-nishi Gakuen elementary school wear face masks during an event marking 6 months till the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo on February 25, 2020. File photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

TOKYO, Japan – Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called Thursday, February 27, on public schools to close nationwide from March 2 to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

“The government considers the health and safety of children above anything else,” Abe said.

“We request all primary, junior high and high schools…across the nation to close temporarily from March 2 next week until their spring break.”

The spring break for public schools usually starts late March in Japan.

“Efforts to prevent the spread of infections among children are being made in various areas,” Abe added.

Many public elementary schools and junior high schools in northern Hokkaido were closed on Thursday as the governor has requested the public schools to be closed for about a week.

The city of Osaka also said it will close its kindergartens, elementary and junior high schools from Saturday , February 29, for two weeks. – Rappler.com