This is how pupils in Wuhan are having social-distancing school meals as the former COVID-19 epicentre restarts classes for more than 50,000 final-year students ahead of their crucial college exams.
The capital of Hubei Province in Central China announced strict hygiene guidelines ahead of the partial resumption of lessons on Wednesday (6th May).
The city is the last in the country to reopen schools since the coronavirus outbreak forced its 11 million inhabitants into lockdown more than three months ago on 23rd January.
At Wuhan No 23 Middle School, where pupils are preparing for the upcoming state exams known as ‘gaokao’, catering companies are delivering meals to specially designated lunch classrooms.
Footage from one of four such classrooms show students sitting at individual desks while each is disinfecting their own foldable plexiglass screen.
The foldable screens allow them to remove their disposable face masks and eat in isolation, further reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 among peers.
Similar scenes are being witnessed across Wuhan, where pupils must also undergo daily temperature screening upon arrival to ensure they are symptom-free.
Li Tao, deputy secretary-general of the Wuhan People’s Government, said the students in their final year of high school were the first batch of children to return to school, but it is still unclear when classes will resume for the rest.
Wuhan has 94 high schools and 46 vocational schools, with a total of 57,800 pupils in their final year.
On Wednesday, 83 high schools and 38 vocational schools reopened for their graduates, who this year will sit their state exams one month later than usual on 7th and 8th July.
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