Japan’s education minister tells children to take off masks as risk of heatstroke rises


TOKYO – Children should be asked to take off their masks on the way to school in the summer, Education Minister Shinsuke Suematsu said at a press conference after the Cabinet meeting on May 24, as the risks of heat stroke increase with global warming.

“Please distinguish between when to use and when not to use masks” as a coronavirus precaution, Suematsu said, also stressing that students do not need to wear masks during gym class, even at school. interior. He added: “Not only is it important to balance infection control and education, but measures against heatstroke are a matter of life and death.”

The Ministry of Education sent notices on the policy to prefectural boards of education and other bodies on the same day,

The government’s recently revised basic coronavirus response policy makes it clear that measures against heat stroke should be prioritized in the summer and that masks are not necessary during physical education lessons or when people are social distancing. social. The Department of Education had requested a similar response in its “Hygiene Management Handbook”, which summarizes coronavirus measures in schools. Observers had reported cases of students being ordered to wear masks during physical education lessons.

At the press conference, Suematsu stressed that children should be told to take off their masks when going to and from school, but should also avoid talking on the way. He added that masks are not necessary during gym classes, including in swimming pools and in gyms.

(Japanese original by Yongho Lee, Tokyo City News Department)

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