Under pressure, New York mayor closes public schools over coronavirus

A member of the National Guard arrives before giving food to residents of New Rochelle, New York at New Rochelle High School March 12, 2020. (AFP)

New York mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday announced the closure of public schools in America’s biggest city, bowing to pressure after strongly resisting the move aimed at curbing coronavirus pandemic.

“I regret to announce that as of tomorrow our public schools will be closed,” De Blasio told a news conference, saying they would stay closed until April 20, and potentially for the remainder of the school year.

The mayor had argued against the closures, fearful of the impact on the economy and on the support services the city’s schools provide for many of their 1.1 million students.

But pressure on the mayor had steadily risen, coming from parents, educators and local hospital officials.

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Last Update: 22:42 KSA 01:42 - GMT 22:42
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