Taiwan’s local governments cancel school trips and religious parades amid coronavirus fears

Swimming classes also affected by virus prevention measures

A Taipei City elementary school protecting its pupils against the coronavirus 

A Taipei City elementary school protecting its pupils against the coronavirus  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As the number of confirmed Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases rose again Wednesday (Feb. 26), local governments announced bans on mass gatherings such as school trips and religious parades.

The return to school after the Lunar New Year holiday was postponed by two weeks to Tuesday (Feb. 25), but authorities in various parts of Taiwan took additional measures to prevent new outbreaks of the virus.

New Taipei City ordered schools to cancel all plans for graduation trips for the time being, while Taipei City canceled all campus activities, including garden parties and school anniversaries, as well as swimming classes, up to May 4, CNA reported.

Taoyuan City canceled or postponed all major public events and religious parades for the time being, while official government trips overseas will also not take place.

Public transportation systems will need to intensify their disinfecting efforts, while all teachers and students at private cram schools and kindergartens must wear masks, the New Taipei City Government said.

In central Taiwan, the Taichung City Government also asked schools to cancel trips until May, though it acknowledged that for contractual reasons, it might be difficult to scrap outings that had already been organized.

In Chiayi City, school trips will be canceled if at least 70 percent of parents agree, reports said.

In Taiwan, the total number of coronavirus cases reached 32, including one death. The youngest patient is only 11 years old, but he was diagnosed before the return to school, though he attended a cram school during the Lunar New Year break.