Suzhou, a city in East China’s Jiangsu Province started a customized bus route on Tuesday, April 7, for shuttling students to school, covering several middle and primary schools, including kindergartens, in a bid to reduce the risk of COVID-19 contagion amid citywide school resumption.
A teacher from Suzhou No.10 High School, surnamed Wang, whose school comes under this route, told the Global Times that during specified hours in the morning and afternoon, the bus is available for students, and parents can accompany their wards to school.
Passengers must undergo body temperature screening before they board the bus, Wang said, noting that the city launched this dedicated route in October 2019, much before the pandemic befell.
“Now it can help minimize risk of cross-infection amid COVID-19 along their way to school, to some extent,” Wang said, adding that the city’s authority is soliciting public opinions, in a bid to launch more similar routes in the city.
“It is really nice to have such a special line for students, considering that traffic congestion risk will increase if parents drive their kids to and from school by themselves,” Suzhou resident Jack commented.
Some other Chinese cities are also launching customized routes for students amid the COVID-19 outbreak. As of April 5, Fuzhou of East China’s Fujian Province has begun 11 bus routes for students, according to reports. The bus is equipped with an automatic thermometer and a facial recognition system.
Li Meng, a teacher in Fuzhou, told the Global Times students who want to use this service, can register their information and other details using a mobile application. A new line will be introduced if a certain number of students register for the same route.
With visible signs of COVID-19 waning in China, schools are gradually resuming classes. They are adopting stringent plans to ensure health and safety, covering transportation, ventilation, disinfection, self-protection, etc.
Wang from the Suzhou school told the Global Times his school has laid out step-by-step guidelines that students are expected to adhere to between school and home, in a bid to reduce infection risks. Students are directed to eat meals in different areas at the school to reduce risks of cross-infection.
At Hangzhou of East China’s Zhejiang Province where schools are scheduled to resume classes, across different grades, starting from April 13, some schools have arranged separate timings for different grades to arrive and leave school to avoid overcrowding. Certain schools have enforced a one-student-one-seat policy to avoid close contact.
On April 8, 2020, the safety officer took the temperature of the students who took the bus line of No. 26 Middle School in Hohhot and registered the temperature.