The Ministry of Education is distributing 6.45 million masks to schools from kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12), as well as after-school institutions as part of government efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak as the spring semester starts today.
As K-12 schools reopen after a two-week delay due to the outbreak, the ministry said that it is also providing them with 25,000 infrared thermometers and 84,000 liters of alcohol-based sanitizers.
Of the 6.45 million masks, 500,000 have been earmarked for private kindergartens, 770,000 for after-school tutoring institutions and childcare centers, and 5.18 million for K-12 schools, Department of Planning head Huang Wen-ling (黃雯玲) said on Sunday.
The masks are for “backup” purposes and should be used only in emergency situations, such as if a child or teacher develops a fever, cough, sore throat or respiratory symptoms, Huang added.
The thermometers are being distributed in two batches, with 12,500 units having been delivered as of yesterday and 12,500 more to be delivered by Monday next week, she said.
The distribution of 40,000 liters of alcohol-based sanitizers to private kindergartens and other institutions started on Feb. 10 and would be completed within three weeks, while another 44,000 liters are being distributed to schools over a three-week period that started on Monday last week, Huang said.
Most of the nation’s universities are to begin their spring semester on Monday next week after an extended break due to the coronavirus outbreak.
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