NATION

COVID-19: New School Term On May 24 Being Considered

Last night Permanent Secretary Health and Medical Services Doctor James Fong said: “As we shift into the next phase of containment, we are prioritising non-school isolation facilities so that –– once it’s safe –– we’re ready to resume classes."
04 May 2021 09:40
COVID-19: New School Term On May 24 Being Considered

The Health and Medical Services Ministry is in discussions with the Education Ministry on whether schools should reopen on May 24.

Last night Permanent Secretary Health and Medical Services Doctor James Fong said: “As we shift into the next phase of containment, we are prioritising non-school isolation facilities so that –– once it’s safe –– we’re ready to resume classes.

“Our students are currently learning from home, which has to suffice for now. But there is a proven benefit to in-person learning, and every day we delay our student’s return to classes risks long-term harm to our human capital.

“In consultation with the Ministry of Education we are considering re-opening the schools on 24 May 2021 — but that judgement depends entirely on our COVID situation at that time.

“Still, I want parents and students watching to know that getting our children back in classrooms is an urgent priority for the ministry.

“Until such time, parents must keep their children at home. Do not bring them shopping, do not send them out with friends. Please, keep them at home.

“We contained last year’s outbreak of COVID-19 in 30 days.

“It has been 15 days since the confirmation of the case that sparked the outbreak we face today, and I’m worried that too many of us think this containment effort will play out on a relatively similar timeline. I very much doubt that it will. It could end soon — I hope it does.

“But the data is telling us a different story. We are not up against an identical enemy this time around, the chains of transmission are more widespread and the variant is more transmissible. The risks are greater, and our response must be more decisive.

“My teams are ready for a containment strategy that lasts months, at a minimum. Every Fijian must be ready as well.”

Adopting god habits

Dr Fong said: “Good habits — such as mask-wearing, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when sick, proper handwashing, physical distancing, keeping careFIJI on, and limiting movement — are not temporary or emergency measures.

“They will be with us for the foreseeable future. Learn them well, and practice them all.

“The rest of the world has embraced a new way of doing things, a new and safer way of living — so must Fiji.

“And we should use this time to COVID-proof our lives, our places of work, and our public spaces as much as possible.

“That will save lives today, and it will keep us safe through whatever comes our way.” INOKE RABONU

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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