No more RATs for students & teachers from Monday: DSEDJ

2023-02-03 03:13     BY Yuki Lei    Comment:4

The Education and Youth Development Bureau (DSEDJ) announced yesterday that starting from Monday, teachers and students will no longer be required to undergo a rapid antigen test (RAT) when going to school and participating in local academic competitions or other activities.

The COVID-19 impact on teachers and students continued to decrease after the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday, during which no collective novel coronavirus infections were detected in schools, according to a DSEDJ statement yesterday.

However, the statement underlined, teachers and students who feel discomfort should take an RAT at home before going to school. The statement stressed that if their RAT result is positive, they should neither go to school nor participate in competitions and activities.

The statement said that physical education classes and extracurricular physical activities can be gradually resumed from Monday for students who recovered from COVID-19 before the CNY holiday. However, the statement added, teachers still need to adjust the curriculum, training content and assessment requirements as appropriate, based on individual students’ health condition.

The statement underlined that students who have recently been infected with COVID-19 and are in the early stage of recovery or feel unwell should take the initiative to inform their schools so that their teachers can avoid putting them through high-intensity exercise.

5 more COVID-19 infectees admitted to isolation & treatment facilities

Meanwhile, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced in a statement yesterday that five more patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were admitted to the Health Bureau’s (SSM) isolation and treatment facilities on Wednesday.

According to the Health Bureau’s COVID-19 website, which was updated yesterday, Macau’s cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases stood at 3,493, of which 3,357 had meanwhile been cured, while Macau’s official COVID-19 death toll remained unchanged at 120.

Macau has not recorded any COVID-19 fatalities for seven consecutive days, from Thursday last week to Wednesday, after two fatalities were reported on Wednesday last week.

MUST professor predicts COVID-19 wave in May

Meanwhile, Han Zitian, an associate professor at the private Macau University of Science and Technology’s (MUST) Faculty of Innovation Engineering told public broadcaster TDM yesterday that with the weakening of the antibodies of COVID-19 convalescents, another COVID-19 wave was expected to occur in May, with about five percent of the population possibly to be infected.

However, Han said, the speed of transmission “will not be fast”, adding that the daily peak number of infected patients was expected to be just about one percent, or about 6,000, of Macau’s population.

Han said his survey centre estimated that about 80 to 90 percent of people in Macau were infected with COVID-19 during the recent COVID-19 outbreak last December, most of them members of “susceptible groups” who had not been infected before the outbreak so that the virus spread rapidly, with one person infecting about nine to 12 others. 

Macau University of Science and Technology’s (MUST) Faculty of Innovation Engineering Associate Professor Han Zitian talks to public broadcaster TDM yesterday at his survey centre. – Photo courtesy of TDM

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