Shanghai schools ordered to hold classes online to stem Covid infections

Shanghai’s education bureau has told schools to hold classes online from Monday as rising numbers of Covid infections hit cities across China.

On Saturday the bureau also instructed kindergartens and childcare centres in the city to shut all in-person classes, according to an online statement.

Cases have been increasing since China abandoned some of the world’s toughest restrictions last week, and there are fears that Covid could spread rapidly in the country’s population of 1.4 billion during next month’s lunar new year holiday.

Health authorities also ended the mass testing drives and compulsory regular testing that were pillars of the policy.

Mainland China reported 2,286 new symptomatic infections on Friday, compared with 2,157 on Thursday, the national health commission said on Saturday.

Excluding imported infections, China reported 2,229 new local symptomatic cases, up from 2,091 on Thursday.

China stopped reporting asymptomatic cases on Wednesday, citing a lack of testing by people with no symptoms that was making it difficult to accurately tally the total count.

No deaths were reported for Friday, with the overall number of fatalities remaining at 5,235.

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