DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh has reopened schools and other educational institutions after 543 days of closure as its virus situation eases and more people are vaccinated.
Schools were closed on March 17, 2020, after the virus arrived in the nation of over 160 million people. Authorities decided to reopen after almost 97% of the country’s teachers and staff have been vaccinated, the government says.
Wearing masks, students arrived Sunday morning at schools that were decorated with balloons and ribbons. Many schools in the capital, Dhaka, and elsewhere gifted candies and chocolates to children.
Education Minister Dipu Moni on Sunday warned against any lax enforcement of safety measures. Initially, every class will attend once a week, authorities say.
Daily counts of deaths and positive cases have eased in recent weeks. Over last week, on average 55 people have died while daily deaths were around 250 in late July. Bangladesh has recorded 26,880 deaths and more than 1.5 million cases. The government says most Bangladeshi adults will be vaccinated by the end of this year.