10 million children may never return to school after Covid-19 pandemic: Charity

Updated on Jul 14, 2020 01:07 AM IST

Save the Children warns of education emergency; WHO reports record daily cases as total hits 13 million

A girl colours a sketch made to educate children on Covid-19 in Bangkok, Thailand.(AP Photo)
A girl colours a sketch made to educate children on Covid-19 in Bangkok, Thailand.(AP Photo)
London | ByAgencies

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused an “unprecedented education emergency” with up to 9.7 million children affected by school closures at risk of never going back to class, Save the Children warned on Monday as global cases hit a new grim milestone of 13mn.

The British charity said 1.6 billion young people, or about 90% of the world’s student population, were shut out of school and university due to measures to contain Covid-19 in April. “For the first time in human history, an entire generation of children globally have had their education disrupted,” it said in the report, Save our Education.

Te economic fallout of the crisis could force an extra 90 to 117 mn children into poverty, with a knock-on effect on school admissions. With many young people required to work, or girls forced into early marriage to support their families, this could see between seven and 9.7mn children dropping out of school permanently. The charity warned the crisis could leave a shortfall of $77bn in education budgets in low and middle income countries by the end of 2021.

The United Nations, meanwhile, said in a report on Monday that the world’s hungry grew by 10mn last year and warned that the pandemic could push as many as 130mn more people into chronic hunger this year. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report noted the pandemic may add up to 132mn people to the ranks of the undernourished in 2020.

The head of the World Health Organization warned the pandemic is worsening globally and things won’t return to “the old normal” for some time. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Monday that “there will be no return to the old normal for the foreseeable future.”

Tedros also chastised political leaders for mixed messages about outbreaks that damage trust, without referring to any politicians by name.

His grim assessment came after WHO reported a new record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total going up by 230,370 in 24 hours. The biggest increases were from the US, Brazil, India and South Africa. The previous WHO record for new cases was 228,102 on July 10. Deaths remained steady at about 5,000 a day.

On Monday, infections across the world crossed 13 million, according to the Worldometer tracker.

Confirmed Covid-19 deaths in Mexico passed 35,000, making it the fourth highest in fatalities. A count by Johns Hopkins University has only the US, Brazil and Britain with more confirmed deaths from the new coronavirus. Sunday’s rise to 35,006 confirmed deaths moved Mexico, a country of 130mn people, past Italy.

Various regions across the world continued to grapple with the pandemic on Monday. Hong Kong reimposed social distancing measures to combat a sudden spike in infections, banning more than four people from gathering in public and requiring passengers to wear face masks on public transport or risk a US$650 fine.

Some businesses will also be closed and restaurants restricted over when they can serve diners.

South Africa reinstated a night curfew to reduce traffic accidents and has made it mandatory for all residents to wear face masks in public. Argentina has registered more than 100,000 cases on Sunday, despite the Buenos Aires area - the country’s coronavirus hot spot -- being under extended shutdown. The country now has recorded 1,845 deaths.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Hadi Matar, 24, center, arrives for an arraignment in the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville, N.Y., Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. Matar, is accused of carrying out a stabbing attack against “Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie.

    Rushdie's attacker says murder bid carried out without any contact with Iran

    The 24-year-old man charged with the attempted murder of Salman Rushdie has denied being in contact with Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and said that he acted alone when he stabbed the Mumbai-born author, whom he disliked for being "disingenuous". In a video interview to the New York Post from Chautauqua County Jail, Matar said that “When I heard he survived, I was surprised, I guess.”

  • A Taiwan Coast Guard ship travels past the coast of China, in the waters off Nangan island of Matsu archipelago in Taiwan. (REUTERS)

    Canadian parliamentary committee plans Taiwan visit amid tensions

    A large Canadian parliamentary committee delegation is planning to visit the Chinese-claimed island of Taiwan in October, local media reported on Wednesday, a development that could further worsen relations between Ottawa and Beijing. Eight members of Canada's House of Commons standing committee on international trade are expected to travel to Taiwan, including many who are members of the Canada-Taiwan Friendship Group in the parliament, Canadian media reported.

  • U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, left, and Taiwanese President President Tsai Ing-wen wave during a meeting in Taipei, Taiwan, Aug. 3, 2022. 

    US announces trade talks with Taiwan, island drills military

    The U.S. government on Thursday announced trade talks with Taiwan in a sign of support for the island democracy China claims as its own territory, prompting a warning by Beijing that it will take action if necessary to “safeguard its sovereignty.” The announcement comes after Beijing fired missiles into the sea to intimidate Taiwan after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this month became the highest-ranking American official to visit the island in 25 years.

  • A person walks in front of new homes under construction in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Between 2016 and 2021, the number of Punjabi speakers increased by 49% to 520,000. (REUTERS)

    Punjabi fourth-most widely spoken language in Canadian homes

    Punjabi is the fourth-most widely spoken language spoken at home in Canada while the number of those using other Indian tongues has risen steeply, according to new data released on Wednesday. Canada's two official languages, English and French, remain the two spoken most predominantly at home, followed by Mandarin and Punjabi, according to details issued on Wednesday by Statistics Canada (StatCan), the country's data agency. Other Indian languages are also flourishing in Canada.

  • Mourners carry the body of a victim of a mosque bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday, August 18. 2022.

    Kabul mosque blast: Death toll rises to 21

    A blast which ripped through a mosque packed with worshippers in the Afghan capital killed at least 21 people and wounded more than two dozen others, police said Thursday. The number of bombings across Afghanistan has declined since the Taliban returned to power in August last year, but several attacks -- many targeting minority communities -- have rocked the country in recent months, including some claimed by the jihadist Islamic State group.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, August 18, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now