London, United Kingdom
VIJAY SHAH via ELLIE MCKINNELL/MyLondon
As the U.K. infection toll from the Wuhan human coronavirus (Covid19) reached into double figures, some schools in the London area have begun taking preemptive action and have started to send pupils home and even postpone classes, according to the news website MyLondon.
Many schools with pupils that have recently travelled to northern Italy, the part of continental Europe that has experienced the highest level of infections, have sent both students and adults home to self-isolate. One school has even asked those who went on a school skiing trip to Northern Italy to stay home for two weeks. However with the examination period drawing near, the British government has urged schools not to close down unless absolutely necessary.
Dulwich Preparatory School in Dulwich, south London, was the first of the city’s educational institutes to close down after two of its pupils fell ill with coronavirus-like symptoms after returning from a trip to Italy. The private school told parents via its website this past week: “We can inform you that the pupils are still awaiting contact from the NHS Swab Team.
“We can confirm that the pupils are in different sections of the school. Given the nature of our site and the movement of children and staff around that site, we must assume that any of our pupils and staff may have had contact with the pupils awaiting tests.”
Other schools that have closed amid concerns of travelled students coming back to class unwell, or sent ill children home to rest include Latchmere School (Kingston-upon-Thames), Sydney Russell School (Dagenham), Cleeve Park School (Sidcup), Winchmore School (Enfield), Ashcroft Technology Academy (Putney), Pinner High School (Harrow) and Thomas’s Battersea (Wandsworth).
While many of the affected schools have no confirmed cases of coronavirus actually declared, they say they have taken precautions for safety’s sake, and in some cases the schools were found to eventually have no cases at all.
Around 20 people in the UK are known to have been infected and quarantined, with one new case each in Wales and Northern Ireland reported in the past couple of days.
My West London, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/mylondonwest/
“London coronavirus: Latest list of schools closing or sending staff and pupils home” – Ellie McKinnell, MyLondon/Reach plc (28 February 2020) https://www.mylondon.news/news/health/london-coronavirus-latest-list-schools-17829836