Donetsk, Jan 27 - DAN. The acute respiratory infection (ARI) rate among schoolchildren in the Donetsk People’s Republic has nearly doubled over the past week, the DPR Healthcare Ministry reported on Thursday.

“The ARI rate has jumped by 1.9 times from the past week, and by 24.8 percent compared with the same period last year,” the report said.

Fifty-seven schools stopped or suspended classes due to higher sickness rates. Donetsk quarantined 135 classes in 18 schools, Khartsyzsk 45 classes in nine schools and Torez 30 classes in seven schools. Makeyevka suspended 21 classes in four schools and fully suspended two schools. A number of schools in Gorlovka, Yenakiyevo, Snezhnoye, Zhdanovka and Telmanovsky district also suspended operation.

“DPR authorities urge parents to take a responsible attitude to the health of children as the most vulnerable group of the population, amid the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant whose symptoms resemble those of ARI,” the Ministry said.

In 2021, DPR schoolchildren were on holidays from September 24 to October 31, 2011 due to CÖVID-19 related school closures. The schools launched classes online starting November 1, and resumed onsite teaching on November 22.*jk