SEOUL, April 3 (Korea Bizwire) — Two consecutive delays of the new school year following the coronavirus outbreak has prevented more than 200 cases of infection, a new study found.
The government made a series of delays for the new school year, first from March 2 to March 9, then to March 23.
The school year was then pushed back to April 6, and again to April 9.
Researchers from Konkuk University and Samsung Medical Center used a mathematical model to develop a quantitative analysis of the effects of the school year delays.
The team reflected the number of additional coronavirus infections reported during the first postponement (March 2 to 9) and the second postponement (March 9 to 23), which revealed that a total of 60 new cases of coronavirus infections might have occurred in the first postponement based on the premise that the coronavirus spreads 10 times faster when the new school year begins.
More than 100 cases of infection might have occurred in the second postponement, study showed.
If schools opened on March 23 as previously scheduled, 28.4 children might have been infected with the coronavirus in the first postponement, and 33.6 children in the second postponement.
Combining simulation results, the research team argued that the postponements helped prevent at least 200 extra cases of coronavirus infection.
“Extended delays of 14 days after March 23 may have less preventive effects than the previous postponements, but concerns for an additional case of infection through physical contact still stand,” said mathematics professor Jung Eun-ok, who spearheaded the team.
“A massive coronavirus outbreak among children could spread to teachers and family members, particularly among seniors.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)