With the reopening of schools across Guyana, amidst the on-going pandemic, parents have expressed their concerns about keeping their children safe from the deadly coronavirus.
These concerns were addressed by Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, M.P., during Tuesday’s Covid-19 update.
How to help a child stay safe in school?
Minister Anthony re-emphasised the importance of children getting the Covid-19 vaccine.
“The first thing that you can do to keep your child safe is to make sure that they get both doses of the vaccine and now more recently, the CDC has recommended that booster doses be offered to those persons 16 years and older, so that’s another thing that parents should consider,” he said.
The minister added that children must be educated about the mandated Covid-19 measures that are necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.
“The second thing is to make sure that the children understand that they need to keep social distancing… they must wear their masks all the time in school, and wear it properly.”
Does wearing a mask for a long time pose any risk to a child?
The minister noted that wearing a mask does not affect children in any way, it will however protect them from Covid-19 and other flu-like illnesses.
“If you go back to before Covid, surgeons were wearing these masks for many, many hours and there’s nothing wrong with wearing the mask. What a mask would do is to protect your child from any infection, and not only Covid but you have things like flu, that we often see as seasonal and it would protect your child from those things.”
Should a child stay at home if he/she experiences Covid-19 symptoms?
Dr. Anthony is advising parents to get their children tested if they are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms. He said if a child is confirmed positive then he/she must be isolated for at least 10 days, however, if the test is negative, the child can return to school.
Can a child go to school if someone in a household is at high risk for Covid-19?
“The household would have to take the necessary precautions because children have been out of school for more than a year and there is now a big deficit in learning. Although we tried to provide online education, many kids prefer to have schooling in person,” Minister Anthony noted.
He also said other precautions must to be taken if there are vulnerable persons in the household to ensure everyone is properly protected. To date, 30, 522 or 41.8 percent of the 12 to 17 age cohort have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 21, 774 or 29.9 percent are fully immunised.