Laos Ministry of Health wants schools to strictly follow rules and ensure safe reopening of schools

VIENTIANE, January 21 (Vientiane Times/ANN): Many schools have been given permission to resume face-to-face classes on January 31, but have been warned that they must strictly adhere to Covid prevention rules.

The Deputy Director General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control, under the Ministry of Health, Dr Sisavath Southanilaxay, has advised schools that have been approved to reopen to ensure they closely follow the 10 measures established by the ministry.

“These measures and guidelines will help reduce the risk of infection among students and staff,” Dr Sisavath said. “If schools don’t comply, they run the risk of spreading the virus to families and communities, and more outbreaks will follow.”

Parents should teach their children to protect themselves from infection by washing their hands regularly, wearing a face mask, checking their temperature and following social distancing rules.

It is also important for parents to have their children vaccinated. The Ministry of Education and Sports continues to compile data on the number of schools allowed to resume face-to-face lessons.

To ensure the safe reopening of schools amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the Ministry’s Task Force for Covid-19 Prevention and Control has worked with the Ministry of Health to define measures and infection control recommendations.

The Ministry of Education and Sports has instructed education and sports administrators at all levels to implement measures within their responsibilities to ensure that schools are fully prepared to safely resume the face-to-face learning.

The Department of Education will organize a pilot reopening of schools, to include scheduling, reopening date, school support plan and provision of Covid-19 vaccination supplies and other essentials.

The pilot reopening of grade 5 in primary schools and grades 4 and 7 in secondary schools will begin on January 31.

Before they can reopen, schools must comply with at least 70% of the measures stipulated by the ministry, and their suitability for reopening will be assessed by a special committee.

Many public and private schools in Vientiane and the provinces have already received permission to resume face-to-face classes.

After a school reopens under the pilot scheme, the area will be monitored twice a week to identify the highest and lowest number of Covid infections.

The Ministry of Education and Sports said details of the reopening program have been sent to all public and private schools.

School administrators are to ensure that facilities are infection-free and that classes can be carried out normally but under specified conditions, while the ministry has assigned local staff to monitor the situation at each school. -Vientiane Times/ANN

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