Brazil: Manaus secondary school students return to class amid easing of measures

Manaus, the capital of the Amazon region, became the first major city in Brazil to reopen secondary schools on Monday. Students were seen arriving at public school Professor Celomenes do Carmo Chaves, where temperature checks were performed at the entrance and several signs were hanging on the walls, reminding students to wash their hands and to wear a face mask at all times. Some parents of the students attending the school, were also spotted in the premises and shared their views regarding the return to in-person classes. «Children need some time. We are worried for them, we should give it some time, it's almost the end of the year, they should have waited until January,» said Claudomiro Braganza. Edeneia Mendonca, also raised her concerns about the facility structure and doubted a safe distance could be kept if classrooms were to be full. «Our preoccupation is in the structure of the school. There is not enough distance between chairs, not even 1.5 metres. If it worked out with distance is because not all students were coming today. Some rooms had 13 students, but the average is 25 students per room. They said it will be a maximum of 20 with a separation of 1.5 metres. I don't think it is time to return to school yet,» she stated. According to local reports, the city of Manaus is the first to resume in-person classes at public schools, allowing students to attend classes in different groups two times a week, provided health and safety measures such as keeping a safe distance, hand washing and use of face mask is observed. Manaus was also one of the cities hit hardest by coronavirus in the region.

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