The Ministry of Health is awaiting feedback from the Ministry of Education over the implementation of safety guidelines pending the full reopening of schools in September.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram made this announcement while responding to questions about the state of safety protocols in place at schools to reduce the chances of infection.
He spoke during the Ministry of Health’s covid19 update on Monday.
“The Ministry of Health has sent a guideline to the Ministry of Education. They will now analyse that guideline and make it their own and subsequently send out information to the school supervisors, principals, teachers, the PTA, etc, to guide them how schools will be reopened in September and even now as they open for SEA. So our guidelines are complete. B ut the final decision will be made by the Ministry of Education.”
Parasram said the guidelines were sent out last Thursday. He could not confirm in detail what the safety requirements would mandate, as he had not received the Ministry of Education’s response.
He said one suggested guideline was regularly checking whether students had had any symptoms.
“We have a daily monitoring system that is supposed to take place in terms of temperature and signs and symptoms, for instance fevers, etc, runny nose, that sort of thing. But that is to be done by the schools and under the supervision of the principals.”
Newsday contacted Minister of Education Anthony Garcia, who said he was expected to meet various stakeholders on Tuesday to discuss measures to be implemented at schools.
He said maintaining physical distancing in classrooms may be a challenge in some schools, and he intends to raise this during the meeting.
“In some instances there may be some fundamental changes we will have to make because of how some schools and classrooms are configured, we will have to do a great deal of adjustments.”
On thermal scanners, Garcia said at the meeting he will determine how many schools need them.
“We have received a number of reports from government schools where the principals have used their initiative and were able to obtain the thermal scanners, but we want to get a more full report on that.”
He said after the meeting, his ministry would be able to provide feedback to the Health Ministry on the safety measures.