Hong Kong
Hong Kong
(Photo by VIVEK PRAKASH / AFP)

Hong Kong: Owing to the coronavirus outbreak, schools in Hong Kong which had remained shut for over three weeks are set to not open after Easter holidays even as the university entrance exams will go ahead as scheduled, Hong Kong education officials said on Tuesday.

"Classes at all kindergartens, primary and secondary schools would be suspended until April 20 at the earliest," said Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, as quoted by the South China Morning Post.

"The World Health Organisation and virologists have already predicted that the epidemic will last for a longer period of time, so further extending the suspension of classes is the safest option," he added.

This comes at the backdrop of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country with a tally of the infected reaching 85 till Tuesday.

"For classes, we are talking about 900,000 pupils from kindergartens, primary and secondary schools. Usually, during class, they have a lot of interaction, they talk to and play with each other," he said.

Although the schools have been closed till April 20 yet the country's university will be held as per schedule.

"It is completely different from the DSE exam when there are just over 50,000 candidates, sitting down without any communication," he added.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, schools were first suspended after the Lunar New Year holiday, which ended on February 3. Previously, the officials had already extended the suspension for two more weeks until March 16.

The virus which first surfaced in China's Hubei province in December last year has since infected more than 80,410 people worldwide and killed over 2700 people.

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