The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said that starting in-person classes posed health risks for young primary school students and paved the way for the spread of COVID-19.
At a news conference on Tuesday, MoPH spokesperson Akmal Samsor said the Afghan cabinet would soon decide whether they would be re-opening schools and universities for classes.
“If it is decided to open schools and universities, we suggest that the upper classes be opened gradually and initially,” he said, adding, “Opening primary classes is dangerous and sets the stage for the spread of the virus.”
“According to the Ministry of Public Health, we may not be ready to open elementary schools this year, because children cannot wear masks or observe social distance.”
It had been decided that school and universities would resume for in-person classes on Aug. 6, depending on the COVID-19 transmission rate and cases at the time.
Samsor said that though the ministry has not noted an increase in cases at hospitals since Eid al-Adha, it would likely increase within the coming fortnight.
The MoPH is already prepared to conduct tests and handle the influx of new cases, he said.