Lebanon to close all schools in effort to thwart spread of coronavirus

Some officials also showed concern for a future rise in cases.
by Paula Naoufal

28 February 2020 | 23:29

  • by Paula Naoufal
  • Last update: 28 February 2020 | 23:29

A nurse prepares a room at the quarantine department at Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan said all people traveling from Iran to Lebanon will be tested for the new virus that started in China before boarding flights to the Arab country after a woman tested positive earlier this week upon her return from Iran. (AP Photo)

BEIRUT: The Ministry of Education has announced the closure of schools and universities starting 29th of February till the 8th of March.

The decision to close educational establishments came after government reported multiple coronavirus cases in Lebanon, with school officials concerned of a further increase in cases going forward. 

The media office of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education has issued the following statement:

"In the interest of the health of students and their families, and after consulting this evening with the Minister of Public Health Hamad Hassan, the Minister of Education Dr. Tarek Al Majzoub, requests all educational institutions from kindergartens, schools, high schools, vocational institutes, and universities to close starting from the morning of Saturday, February 29, 2020 until Sunday, March 8, 2020."

“Further measures are to be taken in response to how the situation develops,” the minister added. “With awareness and cooperation, we can overcome the crises."

Hassan Shamseddine, an interior design student at AUL believes that this is a smart move from the government to prevent a further possible outbreak of the coronavirus. Yet at the same time, he believes the Ministry of Education should increase awareness campaigns and further highlight the important of social responsibility.

Rawad Taha, a journalism student at LAU, said that the most important aspect right now is for people to have social responsibility.

“We also need stricter measures at all ports of entry and the Ministry of Health should prepare more than just one center for the treatment of the virus,” he said.

Hiba Orabi, a biology graduate from LAU, a current pharmacy student at BAU and an intern at the military hospital in Beirut, said school closings might prove belated in stopping a virus noting that the “the damage has been done. “

“This step should have been taken when the first case was recorded and they should’ve started with these restrictions from the airport ... and although this step might decrease the number of suspected corona cases," she told Annahar. 

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