Thursday, April 18, 2024

COVID-19 Outbreak Affects Northern Shan State Schools

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Several dozen students and a teacher tested positive in northern Shan State after the junta forced schools to reopen across Burma. The Hita Dara volunteer group in Mongyai said that 26 infections were detected in the town’s schools using rapid diagnostic tests after classes resumed on 1 November.

Mong Yai high school student
Mong Yai high school student

“The schools are still open after disinfection. No further action has been taken to stop the spread of COVID-19,” a source from the group told SHAN, asking that his name not be published.

All those infected are isolated in the town’s hospital. Fourteen are from Mongyai and Hoya high schools, two are from junior high, two students and the teacher are primary level.

“Schools should be temporarily closed because so many children have been infected with the virus,” said another source from the volunteer group.

Most schools in Burma were closed after many teachers walked off the job and refused to teach in protest against the regime. On 1 June, the junta tried to resume classes at the start of the new school year, but more than half of Burma’s 400,000 teachers were on strike and less than 10 per cent of the nine million students returned to their schools. According to the Myanmar Teachers’ Federation, more than 100 teachers have been charged for incitement under Article 505(a) of Burma’s Penal Code.

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