Saturday, February 4, 2023

    Health minister hints at closing schools again if Covid infections surge

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    Schools, colleges set to reopen on Sunday after being closed since March last year

    The health authorities might recommend closing schools again if there is a spike in coronavirus infections in the country, says Health Minister Zahid Maleque.

    “If the coronavirus infection surges dangerously then we would recommend closing schools again,” he said on Friday while visiting a centre for dental college entry test in Dhaka.

    The minister’s remarks come just two days before schools and colleges across the country are set to reopen on Sunday after being closed for 18 months.
    Bangladesh is trying to secure a clearance from the World Health Organisation to vaccinate under-18s, he said before adding WHO is yet to provide any directive on when school-going children can be inoculated.

    “Children of this age have been vaccinated in only a few countries on a trial basis,” Maleque said.
    Bangladesh plans to inoculate children aged between 10 and 17 once the WHO clearance comes through, added the minister.
    All educational institutions except universities across Bangladesh are set to reopen in phases from September 12.

    After the reopening, the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) examinees of 2020-2021, and the Primary Education Completion (PEC) examinees will attend classes regularly while the students of grades 1-4 and 6-9 will attend classes once a week initially.
    The government shut educational institutions across the country back in mid-March last year after health authorities detected the first Covid-19 cases. Later, the closure was extended several times.

    With the authorities recording a drop in Covid-19 cases and deaths in recent weeks, Education Minister Dipu Moni announced that schools, colleges and madrasas will reopen September 12.

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