School classes resume, no class suspensions

2023-01-10 03:04     BY Tony Wong    Comment:1

Schoolchildren in Macau returned to their classrooms yesterday, when the government announced that no classes needed to be suspended in line with its COVID-19 class suspension criteria. 

According to the government’s current special COVID-19 measures for school teachers and students, which took effect yesterday when school classes resumed, they are required to self-test for COVID-19 with a rapid antigen test (RAT) kit and upload their negative RAT result onto the Health Bureau’s (SSM) RAT reporting system every day before going to school. Those who have been infected with COVID-19 after November 28 are not required to comply with the daily RAT requirement.

In addition, a class needs to be suspended for five days if at least four COVID-19 positive cases are detected in the class on the same day.

School classes in Macau resumed yesterday after the local government ended the city’s transition period tackling COVID-19 on Sunday, which began on December 8 when it commenced its gradual easing of COVID-19 curbs implicitly allowing constant transmissions of the novel coronavirus in the community.

A statement by the Education and Youth Development Bureau (DSEDJ) yesterday said that its director Kong Chi Meng and other DSEDJ officials visited a number of schools yesterday where school representatives briefed the officials about their respective implementation measures concerning the government’s special COVID-19 rules. 

Yesterday’s DSEDJ statement said that no school classes needed to be suspended yesterday because of the measure that requires a class with at least four cases detected on the same day to be suspended.

Yesterday’s statement also said that with the termination of the Macau Health Code’s red and yellow codes, which started on Sunday, local schools yesterday ceased checking the Macau Health Code of anyone entering their premises. 

Yesterday’s statement also reaffirmed that if special education, kindergarten or junior primary school students still feel discomfort or are affected by other adverse conditions after their recovery, the schools may, at their discretion, approve their applications for absence.

No intensive exercises in PE classes

The statement also said that schools should also suspend more intensive activities in their physical education (PE) classes before the upcoming Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday period. This year’s Chinese New Year falls on January 22.

Instead, the statement said, schools should only teach PE knowledge and arrange for their students to do stretching exercises in their PE classes during the current period in the run-up to the CNY school break. The current special measure for physical education classes aims to enable schoolchildren infected with COVID-19 to be given enough time to recover their physical strength.

6 more COVID-19 fatalities, raising death toll to 89

Meanwhile, a Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre statement yesterday announced that six more people died of the novel coronavirus disease on Sunday, raising Macau’s official COVID-19 death toll to 89.

According to the statement, the six victims, four males and two females, aged between 61 and 101, had all suffered from underlying diseases.

Five of the six fatalities had not been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, the statement said.

Yesterday’s statement also announced that 52 new patients diagnosed with the novel coronavirus disease were admitted to the Health Bureau’s isolation and treatment facilities on Sunday.

According to the Health Bureau’s COVID-19 website, which was updated yesterday, Macau’s official cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases stood at 3,334, of which 3,017 had meanwhile been cured.

COVID-19 now endemic in Macau: Health Bureau 

The Health Bureau has said that COVID-19 has now become an endemic disease in Macau following the termination of an anti-COVID-19 transition period. Since Sunday, people in Macau have no longer been required to report their state of health by generating their Macau Health Code when entering any public venues in the city.

The Macau Health Code ceased its red and yellow codes on Sunday, meaning that smartphone users always generate a green health code even though they report COVID-19 symptoms or contacts with COVID-19 carriers on the Macau Health Code.

Education and Youth Development Bureau (DSEDJ) Director Kong Chi Meng (right) talks to a schoolboy outside Fu Luen School, which is run by the Macau Women’s General Association, in Areia Preta district yesterday morning. – Photo: DSEDJ

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