Govt to start COVID-19 serial testing on reopening of schools

10:57 PM | 4 Sep, 2020
Govt to start COVID-19 serial testing on reopening of schools
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ISLAMABAD - Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Faisal Sultan on Friday said the government would ensure protection of schoolchildren from the COVID-19 even after reopening of educational institutions through 'serial testing' across the country.

Addressing a media briefing here at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), he said the main objective of the regular serial testing would be to monitor the corona situation and examine the health of teachers and children at schools after every two weeks.

He said further decisions would be made on reviewing the situation on the basis of test reports on scientific means. Schools would be reopened stage-wise with strict monitoring on the implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) related with protection from the COVID-19.

He made it clear that all schools would have to strictly follow the SOPs like social distancing, hands sanitizing or washing, wearing of face masks etc. Besides schools' administration, the role of parents was also crucial to ensure implementation of the SOPs.

Dr Faisal said, "The schools administration, teachers and parents will have to adhere to the instructions after reopening of the institutions." The number of students in a class would be reduced, which meant that half of them would attend the school one day and the other half next day.

He said there was no need to purchase expensive masks and suggested the parents to make homemade fabric mask for their school going children, which were washable and reusable. The students with low immunity level should be avoided to attend school in the first phase.

He said due to immediate closure of schools, a large number of population, particularly the students, were now safe and remained protected from the COVID-19. The government had adopted an effective strategy to combat the pandemic that resulted reduction in corona cases in the country.

Dr Faisal said the present facts and figures showed declining trend of the coronavirus at all levels due to prompt response of the government. Expressing satisfaction over the current COVID-19 situation, he said it all was made possible due to team efforts and the efficient work.