Twenty-two schools and more than 100 classes in France have been closed due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, announced this development on Friday, three days after the opening of schools across the country.
“In mainland France, there are now 12 (schools) closed out of a total of over 60,000, which is a small figure.
“In La Reunion (an overseas department), there are 10 schools,” Blanquer told local broadcaster Europe 1.
“In general, (the detection of) three cases of COVID-19 infection would trigger the closure of a school,” he added, noting that all the relevant cases had been infected before the return to school.
It would be recalled that some 12.4 million students in France returned to classrooms on Tuesday.
The minister added “Under the government’s back-to-school plan, students aged over 11 must wear face masks all the time, including in classrooms.
He said that schools had been compelled to limit the flow of pupils and parents during the rush for arrival and departure.
According to him, classrooms should also be regularly disinfected and ventilated.
The start of the new academic year came amid worsening sanitary indicators, Blanquer said.
He said that on Thursday, the second day in a row; more than 7,000 patients had caught the virus, and the cumulative number of cases reached 300,181, quoting figures from the country’s public health agency.
He said that the number of hospitalised patients rose by 11 to 4,643, of whom 464 needed intensive care, up by 18.
He said, “The two indicators, which are key for evaluating the ability for hospitals to cope with the epidemic, have been increasing since the end of August.”