COVID-19: Students in Wuhan return to school

High school senior students study in a classroom in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province on May 6, 2020. – Senior school students in 121 institutions were back in front of chalk boards and digital displays for the first time on May 6 since their city — the ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic — shut down in January. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT

Chinese youngsters in the global virus epicentre of Wuhan filed back to class on Wednesday, wearing masks and walking in single file past thermal scanners.

Senior school students in 121 institutions were back in front of chalkboards and digital displays for the first time since their city — the ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic – shut down in January.

“School is finally reopening!” posted one user of Weibo, China’s Twitter-like short messaging platform.

“This is the first time that I’m so happy to go back to school, although I have to sit a monthly examination on the 8th.”

Teenagers sat at individual desks spaced a metre (3.3 feet) apart, seeing their teachers in the flesh after months of distance learning.

Wednesday’s back-to-school was the latest step in a gradual normalising of life in Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province.

The city, where the coronavirus appeared late last year before spreading around the world, was locked down for 76 days and only reopened last month.

Only the province’s oldest students were present on Wednesday — vocational students and seniors who are due to take the make-or-break university entrance

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