Senegal's President Macky Sall Monday announced that the reopening of schools will be postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak among teachers.
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"Teachers that tested positive for COVID-19 have been reported in the southern Ziguinchor region," Senegalese Education Minister Mamadou Talla stated to local news media.
In early May, Senegalese leader announced markets and shops were to reopen in June, as part of precautionary measures easing plan. Places of worship and schools were scheduled to resume activities on June 2.
“The president of the republic has decided to postpone the resumption of lessons initially scheduled for June 2, 2020, to minimize the risk of spreading the virus in schools," Talla added.
"We must win the fight against coronavirus while ensuring quality education for our children. I pay a well-deserved tribute here to the teachers, these soldiers of knowledge who have proudly accepted to stand on the front lines to serve the nation."
As local news media and health authorities briefed, infected teachers were reported in Ziguinchor province, in the southern Casamance region.
Before the suspension, a number of people were skeptical of the reopening of schools and warned of a possible spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The Senegalese government ceased learning activities on March 16. The announcement came after WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Monday warned African nations about early restrictive measures lifting. Ghebreyesus stressed gradual reopening was crucial to control possible outbreaks.
According to Education Ministry communique, the president instructed the Health and Education authorities to keep working on schools reopening in the short term.