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Strong reactions for PCR every 72 hours in Universities, upset and for tests in schools – Aim for physical presence

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Strong reactions for PCR every 72 hours in Universities, upset and for tests in schools - Aim for physical presence

A great uproar has been caused in the academic circles, after yesterday's meeting of the Minister of Education Prodromos Prodromos, with the advisory committee of the Ministry of Health and the suggestion for presenting -from those students who have not been vaccinated- a negative PCR test every 72 hours.

The cost of two PCRs per week is -approximately- 60 euros per week (ie more than 240 euros per month), which will be borne by any student or teacher who does not have safe passpass. The voices of protest from the student groups have already started, with the majority of the students talking about an unacceptable proposal, which aims to blackmail and artificially lead the people aged 18-23 to be vaccinated. It is overlooked, however, that vaccination is not a punishment, but a necessity, and that really “salty” regular PCRs can simply be avoided if the vaccination route is chosen.

Questions are also asked about unvaccinated teachers, who based on yesterday's presentation are asked to “choose” between vaccination and the molecular test every three days, which is also a big financial burden on their monthly budget. Of course, the Minister of Education Prodromos Prodromou, for his part, speaks of a measure that is necessary in order to ensure public health, while emphasizing that the final decision will be taken next week (23/08) at the Ministerial Council. It is emphasized, however, that the protocol has been ready for a long time but has not been sent to the educational units, due to the possibility of comments from the scientific team of the Ministry of Health, which will be incorporated.

PCR for greater security

According to the advisory committee of the Ministry of Health, the suggestion to submit a negative PCR test every 72 hours in universities was made, on the one hand, because it is much more valid than rapid tests and on the other hand, because students have more mobility in the country than the students. In fact, according to the Minister of Education, another reason why the aspirations turn to the molecular method is that in universities there will no longer be the measure of distance, mainly for practical reasons, but also for the fact that the main issue now ( both on the part of rectors, and on the part of students) is that all students should be able to return to physical presence. However, both Prodromos Prodromou and the advisory committee themselves stress that the solution of the PCR test for unvaccinated students and teachers is the best possible option in order to significantly reduce the spread of the virus, as these are places where there are many people. (large classrooms, etc.).

They ask for information

Students, however, say the big bet is how many young people will be persuaded, not forced, to get vaccinated. Specifically, they report that there is a lack of enlightenment campaigns by the Ministry of Health, which will inform them and solve all their questions, while alleviating all their worries and concerns. At the same time, they are calling for massive free rapid tests on campus, both for students and other staff, as this would ensure the safety of the site, significantly reducing the spread of the virus.

Schools, like last year

At the same time, and based on yesterday's suggestions, in the schools of the country it is expected to apply that was valid last year as well, with the only difference that the rapid tests will no longer have a weekly character, but will be done every 72 hours. And this year, it seems, there will be a measure that no one will enter the school without being tested for the virus. Specifically, high school and high school students will enter the school showing their safepass, while for those who have not been vaccinated so far, it is noted that outside the schools there will be a mobile unit that will do a rapid test for free. It seems that the parents are also positive about this measure, with the president of the Pancyprian Confederation of Associations of Parents of Public Secondary Schools Charalambos Dionysiou stating in his statements to “P” that this is a measure that ensures, to a very large extent, the student safety and limiting the spread of the coronavirus. Of course, as he notes, all measures can change until the beginning of the new school year, as the epidemiological picture of the country may be overturned.

Except for the teachers

It is noted that, according to the Minister of Education Prodromos Prodromou, the reason why rapid tests will be provided to students free of charge, while PCR will be paid by students, is because children as minors need the consent of both parents to vaccinated, while students and teachers can easily do it themselves. This is the reason why secondary school teachers are exempted from the free rapid tests, which will be provided free of charge by the Ministry of Health, despite the fact that it was one of the requests of the educational organizations. It is noted, however, that, according to the president of OELMEK Costas Hadjisavva, the percentage of unvaccinated teachers is small, about 10 -15%. At the same time, it is emphasized that apart from the fact that there will be mobile sampling units, the possibility of walk-in vaccination centers in universities has been put on the table, something that, as mentioned by Dr. Olga Kalakouta, has already been planned and will happen.

Clarifications are requested

For his part, the president of OELMEK, Costas Hadjisavvas, speaking to “P” stated that there should be clear instructions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the traces and the measures that will be taken by the respective school, but also clarifications for the strategy that will be followed by those students who refuse, for any reason, to undergo a rapid test. However, with a first estimate and based on last year's data, it seems that the number of these students is small and does not reflect the image of most schools. In any case, even if this number increases, the practice of the previous year could be applied to asynchronous distance education. In addition, it is noted that teachers are waiting for the protocol completed by the Ministry of Education, as stated by the president of OELMEK, emphasizing that they would like the specific unit to have the program for mobile units from the 1st week, the creation of a special telephone number for issues which are not mentioned in the instructions, as well as their suggestion for immediate information from the competent ministry for cases of students in their external examination in a chemistry.

With a mask in elementary school?

Now, regarding the health protocol and what will happen with the masks in the primary schools, the Ministry of Education stated that it will have a meeting with the parents, in order to examine its use in them as well. It is noted that such a thing was not implemented until today, while the advisory committee of the Ministry of Health made, in yesterday's teleconference with the Minister of Education, a strong suggestion for the introduction of a protective mask in primary schools. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that the protocol will be made public within days and that the reason that has not been done so far is because the recommendations and opinions of experts are expected to give the “green” light. However, regarding the actions of the ministry, as Mr. Prodromou said, 50 thousand single desks have been secured so far, while the target was 20-30 thousand.

Free rapid test points for Wednesday 18 August (list by province)

Dr. Armeftis / Covid19: The health system has exceeded its limits – Concern for September

Covid19: The Protocol for the schools was discussed by the Ministry of Education and Science – Scientific Committee

Source: politis.com.cy

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