When will schools reopen?
When will schools reopen?Flash 90

Speaking at a press briefing today, the director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that closing schools due to the coronavirus pandemic should only be done if there is "intense transmission."

He added that it was important that "continuity of education should be guaranteed through distance learning," even while schools were shut.

Ghebreyesus cautioned that it could not be said that there was "zero risk" to children who contracted the virus, but stressed the importance of health and education as "two of the most precious commodities in life."

Speaking at the same briefing, the executive director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, noted that around half of the world's students are still unable to attend school due to the pandemic - a total of around 872 million children.

"Millions of these children were fortunate enough to learn remotely online through radio, television broadcasts, or through the internet. However, Unicef data shows that for at least 463 million children whose schools closed during Covid-19, there was no such thing as remote learning," she said.

"The sheer number of children whose education was completely disrupted for months on end is nothing short of a global education emergency."