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Shanghai to reopen all schools on Sept 1 with daily Covid-19 testing

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China’s financial hub Shanghai said on Sunday (Aug 14) that it would reopen all schools including kindergartens, primary and middle schools on Sept 1 after months of Covid-19 closures.

The city will require all teachers and students to take nucleic acid tests for the coronavirus every day before leaving campus, the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission said.

It also called for teachers and students to carry out 14 days of “self health management” within the city ahead of the school reopening, the commission said in a statement.

Shanghai shut all schools in mid-March before the city’s two-month lockdown to combat its worst Covid-19 outbreak in April and May.

It allowed some students of high school and middle school to return to classrooms in June while most of the rest continued home study for the remainder of the semester.

The announcement on schools reopening brings great relief to many residents but fears about Covid-19 lockdowns persist, as China vows to stick to its dynamic zero policy which requires all positive cases and their close contacts to undergo quarantine.

On Saturday, videos circulating on Chinese social media showed customers pushing past security guards and running out of an IKEA mall in central Shanghai in panic as an announcement blared over its sound system saying the mall was being locked down due to Covid-19 contact tracing.

Reuters was not able to independently verify the authenticity of the videos but IKEA customer service said on Sunday the mall was shut due to Covid-19 curbs.

IKEA did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

Shanghai reported five new local infections of Covid-19, all asymptomatic, for Saturday, while 2,467 domestically transmitted cases were reported nationwide.

The southern province of Hainan is now China’s worst hit region, with 494 symptomatic cases and 846 asymptomatic cases reported for Saturday.

Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan urged Hainan to achieve zero cases at the community level as soon as possible when she inspected several places on the island, including the Sanya Phoenix International Airport on Saturday, state media reported.

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