Coronavirus COVID-19 Doctors New York, USA
Doctors test hospital staff with flu-like symptoms for coronavirus (COVID-19) in set-up tents to triage possible COVID-19 patients outside before they enter the main Emergency department area at St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx on March 24, 2020 in New York City. New York City has about a third of the nation’s confirmed coronavirus cases, making it the center of the outbreak in the United States. (Photo by Misha Friedman/Getty Images) Misha Friedman/Getty Images

Australia’s federal government has urged states to reopen schools while it considers easing some restrictions on travel in light of the slowing down of the COVID-19 spread in the country.

The federal government believes it is safe to send kids back to school, citing previous medical findings children are less likely to contract the disease. This is despite the growing number of reports of children dying due to the coronavirus. According to a CDC report, from Feb. 24 to April 2, there have been 2,549 reported COVID-19 cases in US of children aged 18 and below.

Despite this call, some state and territory leaders have argued against reopening schools and have ordered schools to shut, Reuters reports. The issue is expected to be discussed at a national cabinet meeting on Thursday. The group will be consisted of state and federal leaders.

“We need to have a system where the schools are open, providing that form of education, but also providing the online support for those parents who do choose to stay home,” federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Nine Entertainment.

“It is a challenging issue and we want kids not to miss a year of education. The pandemic may take lots of things away from us but we don’t want it to take away our kids’ education.”

The decision to reopen schools is part of the government’s effort to slowly wind back COVID-19 restrictions that have so far been very effective. Measures like social distancing, quarantine requirements and border closures (internationally and between states) have helped Australia control the rise of COVID-19 cases.

As of Thursday (April 16) 9:24 GMT (7:24 pm Sydney time), the Land Down Under has 6,468 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 23 cases from Wednesday, and 63 deaths. The United States still tops the numbers with 644,348 confirmed cases and 28,554 deaths. The global tally is now at 2.09 million cases and 135,227 deaths worldwide, according to data from Worldometer.