- 閉鎖（後出 closure も同意）
- educational institution
- academic year
- get off work
- space out
- 感染（者）（後出 infect は感染させる）
- see off ～
- day care center
- after-school club
- World Health Organization
- (= governor)知事
- declare a state of emergency
- 【写真説明】 aerial photo
After calls from Prime Minister Abe Shinzo to close as part of efforts to halt the spread of the new coronavirus, a majority of elementary, junior high, high schools and other educational institutions nationwide temporarily ceased lessons from March 2.
The school closures come near the end of the academic year, leaving the country's 12.7 million students with little to no time for final exams or graduation ceremonies.
But some elementary schools are opening up their facilities for parents who cannot get off work early enough and are having difficulty being home with their children.
In the city of Saitama, schools allowed children from the early grades of elementary school to attend for self-study.
By 9 a.m. on March 2, 50 children had come to Kitaurawa Elementary School in the city's Urawa Ward.
They sat spaced out from one another, with one child to a table, or two if they are siblings, to prevent the spread of infections. As the school is technically closed and lunch will not be served, they brought meals prepared at home. One mother who saw off her daughters said, "I'm thankful even for this."
Abe excluded day care centers and after-school clubs from the school closures to help parents with small children, triggering questions about the effectiveness of the shutdowns. Moreover, only 2.1% of recorded patients in China were below the age of 20, according to the World Health Organization.
Many sporting events were canceled or held without spectators. Amusement parks, concerts, festivals and other places drawing crowds, including Tokyo Disneyland, have been closed.
Over 1,000 people, including 706 on a quarantined cruise ship, have been infected in the country and 12 had died as of March 5. Hokkaido Gov. Suzuki Naomichi declared a state of emergency on Feb. 28 as the prefecture had seen the highest number of infections. (Compiled from AP and Mainichi reports)
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