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Over 400 school kids have tested Covid-positive

08 Dec 2021

BY Buddhika Samaraweera Whilst stating that 400 to 500 out of nearly four million schoolchildren in the country have been infected with Covid-19, the Ministry of Health has claimed that no large-scale Covid-19 clusters have been reported among schoolchildren in a context where the majority of the infections, which are on the rise, have been contracted from their home environments. Speaking to The Morning yesterday (8), Ministry of Health Communications Director and Deputy Director General of Public Health Services (DDGPHS) Dr. Hemantha Herath said: “There are nearly four million schoolchildren across the country, out of which 400-500 schoolchildren have been infected with the disease. Other than that, there are no Covid-19 cluster formations among schoolchildren. “The cumulative number of Covid-19 infections among schoolchildren is increasing. For example, if there were five infected schoolchildren yesterday and another two are reported today (9), the total number goes up to seven, but that is not a large-scale outbreak.” He also said that many of the schoolchildren who have been infected with Covid-19 so far have contracted it from their homes and added that there will be no room for a large-scale spread in schools in the future too, if the Covid-19-related health guidelines are properly implemented in schools. However, teachers’ trade unions recently accused the Ministry of Education and other relevant authorities of not having prepared a programme to properly implement the Covid-19-related health guidelines in schools, claiming that as a result, teachers and students in nearly 1,000 schools have been reported to be infected with Covid-19. Speaking to The Morning, Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) President Priyantha Fernando, on 21 November, charged that the authorities, including the Education Ministry, have not prepared a proper programme to implement the Covid-19-related health guidelines in schools. Ministry of Education Secretary Prof. Kapila Perera was not available for comment.

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