Coronavirus: Few turn up to Polis schools as worries over virus persist

Coronavirus: Few turn up to Polis schools as worries over virus persist

Most children at schools in Polis Chrysochous remained at home on Monday over concerns about the high number of coronavirus cases on campus, the school board head said.

 

Most children at schools in Polis Chrysochous remained at home on Monday over concerns about the high number of coronavirus cases on campus, the school board head said.

According to Evlogia Neophytou, 40 coronavirus cases were traced in the gymnasium, lyceum and technical school, which share the same building.

However, primary school children are also being kept home. Out of a total 330 students at the local primary school, about 86 students were in class on Monday, Neophytou said.

“We don’t want to close the schools,” Neophytou added. “We just want to keep our children safe at home, until they are all tested for the virus”.

Most teenagers who were contacts of known cases are still waiting for the health ministry to arrange a test, Neophytou said. “Only a handful were tested, after pressure from their parents”.

On Saturday, Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou responded to the impromptu decision to keep children at home as a precaution last week, saying no one was allowed to decide to shut down school apart from the ministry.

Children stayed at home after the municipality backed by the parents association and the school board said the high schools would be closed at the end of last week.

Some students have symptoms similar to coronavirus.

The majority of those who took the test privately were positive, Neophytou said. Laboratories in Polis charge €75 to €100 for a PCR test.

“In the last ten days, about 75 per cent of students were already staying home because they either tested positive or were contacts of confirmed cases,” she added.

She added that the ministry arranged for a testing at the school on Tuesday.

Vice president of teachers’ union Oelmek Costas Hadjisavvas told the Cyprus Mail that only students who were within two metres of a positive case (those sitting behind, in front and next to the student) are deemed contacts, in addition to those reported by the person who tested positive.

“On some occasions it is deemed necessary to self-isolate the whole class and practice remote learning,” he said.

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