France said 22 schools have closed due to virus cases
PARIS: France’s education minister said on Friday 22 schools have had to close because of the coronavirus in French territory since students returned to school this week, stressing that more than half of them were on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer told Radio Europe 1 that he was satisfied with the progress of the return to school since the children returned across the country on Tuesday.

Ten schools in mainland France and twelve in Reunion Island have closed, where there has been a surge in coronavirus cases recently, he said. France has around 60,000 schools across the country.

Up to 130 classes were also stopped in schools, and the minister said authorities were checking around 250 Covid-19 incidents in schools every day.

These incidents are mainly related to “factors outside of school related to people who could be contaminated in the summer,” he said. More than three Covid cases mean the school is temporarily closed, he said.

But he added the first week had gone “relatively well” and “despite the fears everyone went back and that makes me very happy,” he said.

France is currently seeing a surge in coronavirus cases – 7,157 new cases were reported Thursday – despite authorities having announced they are doing everything they can to avoid a new nationwide lockdown.

The surge has worried France’s distant overseas territories in the Indian Ocean, the Pacific and South America, where health systems are often not as robust as those on the mainland.


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