WHO urges against politicising school reopenings

By: AP | Geneva |

Published: July 14, 2020 8:12:14 am

The cordoned off play area and equipment of a primary school in London, Tuesday June 9, 2020(Yui Mok/PA via AP)

The World Health Organisation says decisions to reopen schools should be part of a broad strategy for the fight against COVID-19, adding: “we can’t turn schools into yet another political football in this game.”

Dr. Michael Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies chief, says any such decisions require a look beyond just how schools, workplaces or long-term care facilities respond individually to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have got to focus on a comprehensive long-term strategy that focuses on everything at one time. We’ve got to chew gum and walk at the same time,” he said, suggesting countries needed to make decisions based on their setting or current levels of transmission.

“We can’t turn schools into yet another political football in this game. It’s not fair on our children,” Ryan said. “We have to make decisions that are based on the best interests of our children, be it their educational or their health interests.”

The comments come as Trump administration officials have increasingly been calling for schools in the United States to reopen.

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