Rio could see 3,000-plus deaths if schools reopen in August

rio de janeiro schools

The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, a biological research center, estimates that the state of Rio de Janeiro could see a surge in coronavirus deaths if schools reopen in August as planned. Over 3,000 deaths could result from the move. 

Researchers say that 9.3 million Brazilians in at-risk groups would be overly exposed to infection if classes resume — as they live with schoolchildren. Over 600,000 of these at-risk potential patients live in the state of Rio.

Mayor Marcelo Crivella gave schools the option to restart classes for elementary school children from August 3 onward. Governor Wilson Witzel decreed that state-administered facilities may resume in-person classes on August 5. Teachers in private institutions threaten to go on strike as they fear for their health.

Across the country, private schools have pushed for a reopening — and asked authorities for special rules, as they claim they have better conditions (and would need less time) to implement new sanitary measures and periodic testing to reduce the risks of the coronavirus spreading between students.

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