After infecting a majority of Latin American nations, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has now reached Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, international media reported citing an official source. The islands were declared a national heritage site in 1978 by UNESCO. The deadly COVID-19 pathogen has infected about 1,082 and killed 27 across Ecuador.
On March 23, an Ecuadorian state TV reported that President of Galapagos, Norman Wray said that four people who had returned from Guayaquil had tested positive for the virus. Wray added that there was still a large number of people who went to "Galapagos more than 14 days ago who haven't been able to leave, both foreigners and Ecuadorans included." This comes as the authorities last week declared a total ban of visitors on the island.
While most children continue to stay out of school, the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF) has made a declaration regarding the children in Latin America and the Caribbean. Reportedly, more than 154 million children in the area are temporarily out of schools and educational institutes due to the coronavirus outbreak. Surprisingly, the number of those students consists of 95% of the total enrolled.
However, according to the report, the next few days and weeks would witness the closure of early-childhood centres, pre-primary, primary and secondary schools in the entire region. UNICEF also added that the percentage is growing at a rapid speed.
Another statement by UNICEF said: “This situation, which could last longer than initially planned, increases the risk of permanent drop out, especially for the most vulnerable children.”
UNICEF’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Bernt Aasen reportedly said that it is an unprecedented educational crisis in the recent history of Latin America and the Caribbean, adding that never have so many schools been closed at the same time.
"The expansion of the coronavirus COVID-19 will leave most boys and girls out of school in the coming weeks. If school closure is further extended, there is a great risk that children fall behind in their learning and we fear that the most vulnerable students will never return to school. It is vital that they do not stop learning from home,” he added.
(Image Credits: AP)