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Xinjiang students to receive free masks as schools reopen

(Xinhua)    15:48, March 15, 2020

URUMQI, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China will hand out free masks to students upon the start of the new semester, which has been delayed by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

About 510,000 students in the final years of senior, junior and vocational schools will be the first to return in Xinjiang on March 16, according to the regional bureau of education.

Other students in the region are scheduled to return on March 23, except for kindergartens and universities, whose dates of reopening are yet to be announced.

Local authorities said local schools would arrange small classes for returning students, suspend all gatherings and adopt close-off management to minimize infection risks.

The students' first class this semester will be about epidemic control and prevention and healthy lifestyles, the officials said.

Liu Jian, deputy head of the bureau, said local governments are busy preparing prevention and control materials, including masks, which will soon be distributed to schools. Local schools are allowed to moderately increase class hours, given the delayed start of the semester.

Xinjiang has reported no new COVID-19 cases for 26 consecutive days, and its final COVID-19 patient was discharged from hospital after recovery on March 8.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Bianji)

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