MoH testing dorm students as schools reopen

The Ministry of Health began conducting COVID-19 tests on dormitory students over the weekend, as schools reopen for face-to-face engagement for students in Grades 10, 11 and 12.

Minister Hon. Dr Frank Anthony said student safety remains a priority, during Monday’s COVID-19 update.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

“All the students coming back to the dorms would be tested…So far, over the last couple of days of testing we found a number of students who were positive and those have been placed isolation.”

The Minister explained that while these students were asymptomatic, they are being placed in isolation for the required period of time. If any student develops more severe symptoms, they will be treated and monitored.

“The students are placed in a separate room and will be given food and education materials so that they can continue their learning and once they stop getting any signs and symptoms, then we follow the protocol to release them from isolation.”

Dr. Anthony said he expects “quite a few” positive cases as students from across the country return to schools. Testing is ongoing.

“We have dorms schools in Essequibo, we have one in Region One, Region Eight and Region Nine. Then there’s President’s College. So, they are coming from different parts of the country coming into these schools and therefore, we have to be vigilant.  So that’s why as yet, we don’t have a comprehensive number because not all of the students have come back in as yet.”

Minister Anthony gave assurances that close monitoring of schools will continue to ensure that everyone is kept safe.

Prior to schools being reopened, meetings were held with Regional Health Officers and Regional Education Officers to plan for their respective regions. Mechanisms have also been put in place for PCR tests to be returned to the laboratory quickly for analysis.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.