Schools Reopen In South Korea As COVID-19 Fears Ease

Students wearing facemasks amid concerns over the COVID-19 novel coronavirus undergo a temperature check as they arrive at Keongbok High School in Seoul on May 20, 2020. Ed JONES / AFP.

 

Hundreds of thousands of South Korean students returned to school on Wednesday as educational establishments started reopening after a coronavirus delay of more than two months.

Students lined up for temperature checks and were given sanitisers to wash their hands as they entered school premises while teachers greeted them with smiles and occasional elbow bumps.

“It’s really exciting to meet my friends and teachers face to face, but we have to strictly follow the disinfection guidelines,” said Oh Chang-hwa, student president of Kyungbock High School in Seoul.

“I am very worried but it’s still nice to see them again,” Oh told AFP.

South Korea endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the virus — at one point the second-worst hit nation after mainland China — prompting officials to delay the reopening of schools in early March.

But it appears to have brought its outbreak under control thanks to an extensive “trace, test and treat” programme.

Around 440,000 final-year students, who will in December take the university entrance exam that is crucial in the education-obsessed country, are the first to return to schools, with other years following in stages over the next several weeks.

Inside the school buildings, students are asked to wipe their desks and sit apart according to social distancing guidelines, with some classes setting up partitions between desks.

But 66 schools in Incheon, near Seoul, were closed soon after re-opening and their students sent back home after two pupils were diagnosed with the virus, a spokesman at the Incheon Metropolitan City Office of Education said.

The episode illustrates the challenge of reopening schools while at the same time seeking to prevent transmission of the virus.

“Concerns over small infection clusters still remain and no one can predict what kind of situation will arise at schools,” education minister Yoo Eun-hae said.

The education ministry began operating a 24-hour emergency situation room this week, Yoo said, adding that any schools that report fresh infections will be shut immediately.

While final-year students are required to come to school every day, younger pupils will shift between online and offline classes to ensure school buildings are not overcrowded.

AFP

Thousands Of Schools Reopen In France As Lockdown Eases

Primary school pupils attend a class wearing protective visor caps made by the city council in La Grand-Croix, near Saint-Etienne, central France, on May 12, 2020. JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP
Primary school pupils attend a class wearing protective visor caps made by the city council in La Grand-Croix, near Saint-Etienne, central France, on May 12, 2020. JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP

 

Thousands of schools reopened throughout France on Tuesday as the government eases its coronavirus lockdown rules despite some fears of a second waves of infections.

According to official figures there were 348 new COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, bringing the national total to 26,991.

Primary and nursery schools reopened however, with teachers wearing face masks and the children’s chairs separated to avoid spreading the disease.

For Gregory Bouvier, headmaster of a nursery school in Rennes, northwest France, it was all a bit “surreal”.

“It’s not part of a nursery school’s DNA to have the children spaced apart from each other remaining at their desks and not able to share things,” he told AFP.

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer hailed the reopening, which will be rolled out gradually throughout the country, including Paris schools on Thursday, before some secondary schools resume lessons next week.

To ease the fears of parents concerned that the virus remains just a sneeze away, the government has given them the choice to allow their children to return to school or remain under lockdown at home.

Unions have criticised the decision to reopen the schools calling it “premature”.

Some scientists and parliamentary deputies have also questioned the decision.

France began easing its two-month lockdown on Monday, with residents able venture outdoors without filling in a permit for the first time in nearly eight weeks and some shops reopening their doors.

But officials are keeping an anxious eye on events in Germany and South Korea which have reimposed some restrictions as virus cases rose after they eased lockdown measures.

 

AFP

Schools In New York To Stay Closed For Rest Of Academic Year

Senior students from JFK High School gather while practicing social distancing in a local community park on ‘commitment day’, also known as College Signing Day, on May 01, 2020, in Plainview, New York. Commitment Day is when high school seniors decide which college or university to attend in the fall. 
BRUCE BENNETT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

 

 

Schools in America’s coronavirus epicentre of New York state will stay closed for the rest of the academic year, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.

The decision comes as the state remains cautious about reopening over fears that getting people back to work too soon could spark a surge of infections.

“We don’t think it’s possible to (open schools)… in a way that would keep our children and students and educators safe,” Cuomo told reporters.

The confirmation came after Mayor Bill de Blasio said on April 11 that pupils would not return to New York City’s 1,700 public schools this academic year.

The Big Apple is the United States’ largest public school district, with 1.1 million students.

The city closed its public schools on March 15 as the deadly virus spread rapidly, pushing classes online and leaving families scrambling to arrange homeschooling.

Schools would normally end their final term in June. Cuomo said it was too early to rule on whether children could return for the next academic year in September.

He announced that 289 New Yorkers had died from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, pushing the state’s confirmed death toll near 19,000, as infections continue to decline.

More than 700 people were dying a day at the peak of the state’s outbreak in early-to-mid April.

Cuomo said the number of hospitalizations was dropping every day and are currently in the 900s.

“That’s still too high a number,” he said.

Several US states are starting to ease lockdown measures, including Texas on Friday, but New York’s shutdown is due to run until at least May 15.

Cuomo said he would announce a few days before that date whether he would prolong it.

COVID-19: Romanian Schools, Universities To Stay Shut Until September

Marian Raduna (C), gives instructions to the volunteers of “Geeks for democracy”, a Romanian NGO, before they deliver food and hygiene products to nursing homes, bought from donators financial support, as part of the civil society effort to help elderly and vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic, in Bucharest April 25, 2020. Daniel MIHAILESCU / AFP.

 

Schools, kindergartens and universities will remain closed in Romania for the rest of the academic year because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Klaus Iohannis said Monday, with a re-opening planned for September.

“We gave up on the idea of reopening schools. It would be impossible, for example, for students to respect social distancing rules, so we are trying to avoid major risks,” Iohannis said during a televised speech.

An exception will be made for students in the final year of primary and secondary schools who, for ten days in June, will be allowed to attend classes in order to prepare for final exams.

Over the coming months, instead of going to school students will continue to take part in distance learning programmes.

Education Minister Monica Anisie decided last week that online classes be made compulsory, a measure criticised by students’ associations.

“Hundreds of thousands of students don’t have access to digital instruments and cannot take part in online classes,” the National Council of Students said in a statement, calling the measure “discriminatory”.

READ ALSO: Turkey Detains Over 400 Over ‘Provocative’ Coronavirus Posts

Romania is one of the poorest countries in the European Union, with 38 percent of children at risk of social exclusion and poverty, according to Eurostat.

The country has so far reported 11,339 infections of the new coronavirus, and 631 deaths.

Two months after it was brought in, the country’s state of emergency will be lifted on May 15, when restrictions on movement will end, but wearing a face mask will become mandatory on public transport and in other enclosed public spaces.

AFP

Iraq On Total Lockdown Until March 28 Over Coronavirus

A father walks with his child along a deserted street during a curfew imposed as a measure to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in Iraq’s southern city of Basra on March 21, 2020. – Basra governor announced a curfew in the southern province bordering Iran from Monday until Sunday morning. All together, more than half of the 18 Iraqi provinces announced curfews for several days in hope it could contain the new coronavirus outbreak. Hussein FALEH / AFP.

 

Iraq on Sunday imposed a total nationwide lockdown until March 28 to fight the novel coronavirus, as the number of cases grew and the death toll climbed to 20.

Most of Iraq’s 18 provinces had so far imposed their own local curfews but the new measures would include the whole of the country, according to a new decision by the government’s crisis cell.

Schools, universities and other gathering places would remain closed, as would the country’s multiple international airports, it said in a statement seen by AFP.

Many had feared a potential influx of cases from neighbouring Iran, where 1,685 people have died after contracting the COVID-19 respiratory illness, according to the latest official toll Sunday.

Iraq first shut its 1,500-kilometre border with Iran about a month ago and deployed troops to enforce the decision.

It has logged a total of 233 coronavirus cases and recorded 20 deaths, but there are concerns that many more are going undetected as only 2,000 people of the country’s 40-million population have been tested so far.

Authorities have struggled to enforce previous curfews.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of Shiite pilgrims turned out in Baghdad and other cities in the south of the country to commemorate the death of a revered Muslim imam.

READ ALSO: Emirates To Suspend All Passenger Flights From March 25

And Moqtada Sadr, a populist cleric with a cult-like following, has continued to hold mass prayers in his hometown of Kufa south of Baghdad and in the capital’s densely-populated Sadr City.

Health Minister Jaafar Allawi sent Sadr a personal letter in a bid to convince him to call off his weekly prayers, which present an enormous contamination risk.

Allawi has expressed fears that a wider outbreak would overwhelm the country’s health system, which already faces shortages in equipment, medicine and staff after decades of conflict and little investment by national authorities.

Last week, he said he had not been granted his request for $5 million in emergency funds from the federal government.

Iraq is OPEC’s second-biggest crude producer, and falling oil prices have put the country in a bind as more than 90 percent of its state budget is funded by oil revenues.

AFP

UK Closes Schools As Coronavirus Deaths Rise

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at a news conference addressing the government’s response to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, at 10 Downing Street in London on March 12, 2020. Britain on Thursday said up to 10,000 people in the UK could be infected with the novel coronavirus COVID-19, as it announced new measures to slow the spread of the pandemic.
SIMON DAWSON / POOL / AFP

 

Britain announced Wednesday it would be closing schools in the coming days to stem the spread of coronavirus, as the death toll topped 100 and Londoners braced for tougher measures to tackle the outbreak.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had held off following the lead of other European countries in shutting schools, because of the impact it would have on the workforce.

But as the outbreak spreads and the death toll reached 104, up from 71 in a day, he said schools would be closed indefinitely later this week.

“After schools shut their gates from Friday afternoon, they will remain closed,” he told his daily news conference, without giving a date for their re-opening.

Exceptions will be made for key workers — including healthcare staff, police and delivery drivers — and for the most vulnerable children.

Johnson earlier this week advised people to work from home and avoid unnecessary social contact and travel, warning the infection rate was starting to spike.

On Wednesday he said this was having an effect but repeated advice for people with symptoms to self-isolate for between one and two weeks, depending on circumstances.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: More than 850 Million Students Shut Out of School – UNESCO

“Everyone must follow the advice to protect themselves and their families, but also, more importantly to protect the wider public,” he said.

Johnson added that “we will not hesitate to bring forward further and faster measures.”

Speculation is rife that London in particular could soon be subject to more draconian measures, as the capital records the most number of cases.

“We know London is ahead of the rest of us so we may see more stringent measures than even those that we have announced so far being taken,” Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in Edinburgh earlier.

The government will on Thursday introduce legislation giving it emergency powers to deal with the outbreak, including to close premises and restrict gatherings.

– Parliamentary hotspot –

Lawmakers were earlier told to stay away from Johnson’s weekly question time in parliament amid warnings that Westminster is a particularly infectious area.

Some 25 MPs, including a cabinet minister, are already thought to have isolated themselves.

“There’s a lot of COVID-19 in Westminster,” tweeted epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson, a government adviser, as he announced that he had also developed symptoms.

MPs will gather on Thursday however to debate new emergency legislation to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, which ministers hope to push through within days.

The government says its powers will only be used when “absolutely necessary” and the bill has support from opposition parties.

But some MPs voiced concern at the sweeping nature and duration of the proposals, and the effect on civil liberties.

– Rent support –

Johnson’s government has come under pressure to do more to tackle the outbreak of COVID-19, given the tough lockdowns imposed in other European countries.

But he insisted all action was driven by the science, adding: “We’re going to do the right measures at the right time.”

So far Britain has around 2,600 cases, but chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance this week warned that 55,000 Britons could have the virus at a “reasonable” estimate.

The new social distancing advice sparked warnings that many businesses, particularly in the hospitality industry, could go bust.

The FTSE 100 slumped again Wednesday, dropping as much as 5.0 percent in morning trade, while the pound hit its lowest level since 1985 against the dollar, touching $1.1828.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday announced a package of support for businesses, including government-backed loans of at least £330 billion ($395 billion, 360 billion euros).

On Wednesday, Johnson also promised legislation to protect individuals unable to pay their rent because of job losses caused by the crisis to avoid evictions.

In other developments:

– the government said it was working to increase the number of people in hospital being tested for COVID-19 to 25,000 a day and ensure frontline health workers get the protective kit they need.

– Johnson said there was a “massive effort” to build enough ventilators to treat the worst-hit patients, after concern about a shortage.

– Supermarkets, whose supplies have been hit by panic-buying, said they would safeguard supplies for the elderly and most vulnerable, including dedicated opening times only for older customers.

– the 50th Glastonbury music festival became the latest casualty of the outbreak, with this year’s event pushed back to next year.

AFP

COVID-19: More than 850 Million Students Shut Out of School – UNESCO

 

More than 850 million young people, or about half the world’s student population, are barred from their school and university grounds because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, UNESCO said Wednesday.

Calling it an “unprecedented challenge,” UNESCO said schools had been closed in 102 countries, with partial closures in 11 more — with more closures to come.

“Over 850 million children and youth — roughly half of the world’s student population — had to stay away from schools and universities,” the UN educational organisation said in a statement.

“This represents more than a doubling in four days in the number of learners prohibited from going to educational institutions,” it added, citing figures from late Tuesday.

READ ALSO: Facebook, Google In Talks With Washington To Track infections 

“The scale and speed of the school and university closures represents an unprecedented challenge for the education sector,” it said.

UNESCO said countries worldwide were rushing to fill the void by offering real-time video classes and other high-tech solutions.

Some countries were offering classes over television or radio.

The organisation said it was holding regular virtual meetings with education ministers around the world to find the best solutions and determine priorities.

“The current situation imposes immense challenges for countries to be able to provide uninterrupted learning for all children and youth in an equitable manner,” it said.

AFP

France To Close Schools Over Coronavirus

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the opening day of the “Made in France“ event at the Elysee Palace in Paris on January 17, 2020. Michel Euler / POOL / AFP
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the opening day of the “Made in France“ event at the Elysee Palace in Paris on January 17, 2020. Michel Euler / POOL / AFP

 

President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday announced schools in France would close indefinitely from next week to curb the spread of the coronavirus, also urging people over 70 to stay at home.

In an address to the nation on the fight against COVID-19 which has already killed 61 people and infected almost 2,900 in France, Macron made clear that it could no longer be business as usual.

Creches, schools and universities would close from Monday “until further notice”, Macron said, describing the novel coronavirus as France’s most serious health crisis for a century.

But the president also announced that nationwide local elections scheduled for Sunday will not be postponed.

“We are just at the beginning of this crisis,” Macron said.

“In spite of all our efforts to break it, this virus is continuing to propagate and to accelerate.”

From Monday, “and until further notice, all creches, schools, middle schools, high schools and universities will be closed,” he said.

Macron asked all people older than 70, those who suffer chronic diseases, respiratory troubles and the handicapped, “to stay at home” if possible.

As for the elections, Macron said he had consulted scientists and other experts who were of the opinion that “there is nothing to prevent the French, even the most vulnerable, from going to the ballot box.”

The French president said Europe will have to react “fast, and strongly” to “relaunch” the economy in the wake of the epidemic, adding that any steps to close borders will have to be jointly decided “at the European level”.

He said the measures against the virus were needed so that “we continue to win time against this epidemic” which he emphasised “has no passport”.

AFP

Coronavirus: Italy Closes Schools As Death Toll Rises To 107

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (L) and Italy’s Public Education Minister Lucia Azzolina speak during a press conference held at Rome’s Chigi Palace, following the Ministers cabinet meeting dedicated to the coronavirus crisis, on March 4, 2020. – Italy closed all schools and universities until March 15 to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus crisis. The government decision was announced moments after health officials said the death toll from COVID-19 had jumped to 107 and the number of cases had passed 3,000. Tiziana FABI / AFP.

 

Italy on Wednesday closed all schools and universities until March 15 as the number of deaths from the new coronavirus in the Mediterranean country hit 107.

The measure is the most restrictive response to COVID-19 of any European nation and tougher than the closure of schools — but not universities — taken by fellow Group of Seven (G7) member Japan.

Italy reported 28 more deaths on Wednesday, the highest single day total to date. The nation of 60 million people has now recorded over 3,000 cases and only trails China in terms of total fatalities.

Other measures discussed by top ministers and reported by Italian media include what promises to be an unpopular plan to play all football matches without fans for a month.

Italy has borne the brunt in Europe of a disease that is now spreading across the world faster than it is in the central Chinese region where it was first detected late last year.

The problem for the Italian government is that existing restrictions — including quarantine of 11 towns with 50,000 people in the north — have failed to stop the outbreak.

The overwhelming majority of the fatalities have occurred in Milan’s Lombardy region and the neighbouring northern area around the cities of Bologna and Venice.

But 21 of the 22 regions have now had cases and infections are slowly reaching Italy’s less wealthy and developed south.

The government reported the first death south of Rome on Wednesday. It came in the Puglia region that surrounds the city of Bari in the heel of the Italian boot on the map.

Top government minister spent hours huddling Wednesday to chart a way out of a health crisis that threatens to tip Italy’s wheezing economy into recession and overwhelm hospitals.

Most of the steps being considered involve ways to avoid crowds and keep people from coming in contact with each other outdoors.

– Crowd control –

Media reports said people will be advised to stay at least a metre (three feet) apart and to avoid crowded places whenever possible.

The traditional greetings of kissing on the cheeks or shaking hands are strongly discouraged.

Exhibits and shows are set to be rescheduled — a measure that will be especially painful for Italy’s already hard-hit hotel and restaurant industry.

Some of the government’s more mundane and common-sense measures include instructions to cough and sneeze in a handkerchief to avoid hands coming in contact with “respiratory secretions”.

Italians will also be urged to avoid sharing bottles and not to drink from the same cups and glasses.

The crowd-control measures will most directly affect football matches and could cause the most resentment in the sports-mad nation.

Italy’s Serie A has already been thrown into disarray by two weeks of postponements that have seen some clubs not play at all and others play multiple matches in a week.

Fans will even be prohibited from attending the training sessions of top teams such as Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus in Turin.

The government will also recommend to those over 75 to stay indoors and to avoid public places. The advice extends to those who are at least 65 and suffer from other ailments.

A top civil protection official told AFP that most of those who have died in the past few days were in their 80s and 90s and were already suffering from other pathologies.

All these measures are meant to stay in place for a month and be reviewed and possibly fine-tuned after two weeks.

AFP

Iraq Shuts Schools, Shrines Over Coronavirus

Iraqi Flag

 

Shrines have shuttered, streets are deserted and schools closed in Iraq’s holy city of Najaf, where only pharmacies draw crowds after a novel coronavirus case triggered widespread panic.

Najaf is popular among Shiite Muslim pilgrims from Iran, which has recorded 15 deaths from COVID-19, the highest death toll outside China, the epidemic’s epicentre.

It is also where Iraq confirmed its first novel coronavirus infection in an Iranian national studying in a Shiite seminary in the city, located around 200 kilometres (124 miles) from Baghdad.

Since he was diagnosed on Monday, authorities have beefed up precautionary measures.

Thirteen students who attended the same seminary school as the patient are being checked for the virus, Najaf governor Louai al-Yasseri told AFP.

In an exceptionally rare move, religious officials on Tuesday closed down the Imam Ali mausoleum in Najaf, allowing visitors access only to its surroundings.

The mausoleum where the Prophet Mohammed’s son-in-law is buried is one of the holiest sites for Shiite Muslims and is frequented yearly by millions of pilgrims.

Visitors, including millions of Iranians, kiss and caress the tomb, making the area especially vulnerable to contamination.

Amid the growing alarm, students remained at home on Tuesday after schools and universities temporarily closed their doors.

“The 1,028 schools in Najaf province have closed following the detection of the first novel coronavirus case,” said a spokesman for the province’s education department.

The health ministry said this would remain the case for at least 10 days.

Najaf is home to the Wadi al-Salam (Valley of Peace) cemetery, the world’s largest, where millions of people from Iraq’s Shiite majority are buried.

The health ministry on Tuesday advised against non-essential travel to Najaf and urged citizens to refrain from holding large gatherings.

Inside the city, life has come to a stand-still, according an AFP correspondent.

The few that brave the streets seek out pharmacies to purchase disinfectants and medical masks which have become more expensive and increasingly difficult to find.

“There have been no masks for two days. How will I protect my children and my wife,” laments Hussam al-Khafaji, 29.

“Either there are no masks or they sell at four dollars,” nearly four times the price before the outbreak, he told AFP from outside a pharmacy in central Najaf.

With most people staying indoors, the main anti-government protest camp in Najaf was left nearly deserted.

Demonstrators, who had gathered there daily since rallies in the capital and the south began in October, refrained from protesting over fears of a coronavirus outbreak among their ranks.

AFP

Smog Forces Schools To Shut Down In Iran

A general view taken from northern Tehran shows a blanket of smog covering the city as heavy pollution hit the Iranian capital on December 15, 2019. STR / AFP

 

Air pollution forced schools to close on Sunday in parts of Iran including Tehran, as the capital lay under a thick cloud of smog considered hazardous to health.

The pollution level in the capital was “unhealthy for sensitive groups” and officials warned the young, elderly and people with respiratory illnesses to stay indoors, with sporting activities suspended.

The decision to shut schools in the capital was announced late Saturday by deputy governor Mohammad Taghizadeh, after a meeting of an emergency committee on air pollution.

“All of (Tehran) province’s schools except for Firuzkuh and Damavand counties are closed for Sunday,” he said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.

Schools in the capital will close on Monday, the third day of the Iranian working week, he added later in a state TV interview.

An “odd-even” traffic scheme based on vehicles’ registration numbers was imposed to restrict traffic in the capital, IRNA reported.

Trucks were banned outright in Tehran province.

Taghizadeh added that all activities at Tehran province’s numerous sand quarries would also be halted.

Schools were also closed in the northern province of Alborz and in the central cities of Qom and Arak, IRNA reported.

“We are forced to live with and tolerate this situation,” a Tehrani dentist, giving her name as Iran, told AFP.

“I think no one does their job properly in this country, be it the authorities or the people,” she added, fumbling with a white mask, worn commonly on the capital’s polluted days.

Grey Cloud

A grey cloud hung over Tehran on Sunday, obstructing the view of the mountains overlooking the city to the north.

Average airborne concentration of the finest and most hazardous particles (PM2.5) was at 145 microgrammes per cubic metre for the 24 hours until Sunday noon, according to government website air.tehran.ir.

That is close to six times the World Health Organization’s recommended maximum of 25 microgrammes per m3.

Tehran citizens AFP talked to blamed the authorities for rampant construction and lack of public transport diversification, leading to continuous pollution in the capital.

“As long as officials sit in cars with grey-tinted glass, they don’t realise there’s air pollution. Once they sit in cars like mine, they’ll know the air is polluted and something must be done,” said Mohammad, a taxi driver.

He said the solution is the “electrification of public transport” such as buses and taxis and expanding Tehran’s usually crammed metro.

For the Tehrani Reza, the main suspect is the municipality because of “the construction permits given without considering that there must be green spaces, too.”

To them, “money comes before citizens’ health,” Reza said.

The problem worsens in Tehran during winter, when cold air and a lack of wind traps hazardous smog over the city for days on end, a phenomenon known as thermal inversion.

Most of the city’s pollution is caused by heavy vehicles, motorbikes, refineries and power plants, according to a World Bank report released last year.

“We can’t do anything but wait for wind to blow or rain to fall,” said student Bardia Danaie.

PHOTOS: Flood Forces Six Schools To Close In Jigawa

 

Six schools have been closed in Hadejia Local Government Area (LGA) of Jigawa State following a downpour.

The Education Secretary of the local Government, Musa Garba, confirmed this to Channels Television via a telephone interview on Friday.

He explained that students of the affected schools were relocated to neighbouring schools that were not affected, to take their lessons.

READ ALSO: Afenifere Renewal Group Mourns Fasoranti’s Daughter, Demands Justice

The Chairman of Hadejia LGA, Abdullahi Maikanti, through his media aid, Mr Sani Kakabori, also confirmed the incident, saying it occurred on Thursday.

He, however, said all necessary actions would put in place to ensure the affected students return to their schools in a none-distant future.

The schools affected are Matsaro Primary School, Junior Secondary School Hamza Abdullahi, and Junior Secondary Haruna.

Others are Haruna Primary School, Usman Maidashi Primary School, and Adamu Maje Nursery School.

Schools where affected students now take lessons are Babale Primary School, Agumau Primary School, Junior Secondary School Baballe Kiriyo, Dubantu Primary School, and Buhari Primary School.

See photos below: