Keep schools open with appropriate infection prevention measures: WHO Europe

"Last year's widespread school closures, disrupting the education of millions of children and adolescents, did more harm than good, especially to children's mental and social well-being. We can't repeat the same mistakes," says Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Europe's Regional Director, in a press release issued here on Friday.

Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region registering a steady increase in the number of new Covid-19 infections for the fourth consecutive week, the organization is still advising schools to remain open with "appropriate preventive and response measures in place".

"Last year's widespread school closures, disrupting the education of millions of children and adolescents, did more harm than good, especially to children's mental and social well-being. We can't repeat the same mistakes," says Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Europe's Regional Director, in a press release issued here on Friday.

Advertisement

According to the latest figures, in the third week of October the WHO European Region accounted for 57 per cent of new global cases, Xinhua news agency reported.

Also Read | Teachers protest move to appoint new Asst Profs in DU

Advertisement

While the WHO's five other global regions reported a decline in Covid-19 case numbers, more than half of the countries in the European Region registered a marked increase in infection rates with new cases soaring by 18 per cent across all age groups.

According to the WHO, the increase have already triggered an immediate response from national and local governments to protect the schools across the region that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

Advertisement

"A total of 45 countries and territories recommended that schools remain open for in-person learning with infection prevention and control. Seven countries opted for full or partial school closures, either at a national or sub-national level, and two countries recommend distance learning," the WHO release said.

According to WHO Europe, "Interrupting children's education should be a last resort."

Advertisement

Also Read | Last chance for DU admission based on special cut-off list

"Science must trump politics, and the long-term interests of children must remain a priority -- especially now that a number of countries are seeing a spike in transmission. We have more efficient tools to address this spike than closing schools," Kluge said.

Advertisement

Till date, 76 million Covid-19 cases and 1.4 million deaths have been reported in the WHO European Region.

Advertisement
tags