Italy is shutting down its schools till March 15, as the government intends to contain the novel coronavirus has infected more than 3,000 people and killed at least 107 in the country as of Tuesday.All schools, universities, and day cares will be shut starting Thursday and will remain closed until at least March 15.
“It is a prudent decision to contain the virus because we have a health-care system at risk of being overloaded,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a statement Wednesday.Meanwhile France has shut down120 schools in the most heavily infected areas of that country
Many places in East Asia also have already taken similar steps: Japan has closed schools for roughly a month, until early April; Hong Kong schools have been shut for weeks and won’t reopen until late April. China also has closed the schools and started online learning curriculum instead.
“Children could amplify the epidemic and carry the disease to their grandparents. Paradoxically, school closures help protect the elderly,” Giovanni Rezza, who leads the infectious-disease department at Italy’s National Health Institute, told the Wall Street Journal. “We need to avoid a big wave of cases.”