One week after the start of the school year, 46 schools reported contamination to the government
The College of Teachers of the Chile this Friday, 05, asked for the suspension of classes across the country due to a significant increase in the number of cases of Covid-19, one week after the beginning of the school year and at a time when 46 schools reported contagion. Through its president, Carlos Diaz, the Chilean teachers’ union made an “urgent appeal” to the government to suspend the education plan return to school as long as health conditions do not allow, considering that the country detected in the last 24 hours more than 5,300 new contagions, the highest number in a single day since the most difficult period of the pandemic. “Given the conditions we have today, it is not possible to continue with classes in loco across the country,” he said.
Educational authorities and school communities, added Diaz, are said to be “putting their lives at risk because they have to move and stay in each of the educational establishments”. As in 2020, the union has proposed to continue with online classes while the pandemic is not controlled. Although the return to classrooms across the country was initiated “voluntarily, gradually, flexibly and safely”, in the words of the Chilean president, Sebastian Piñera, preventive quarantines in dozens of schools did not take long to occur, less than three days after the beginning of the school year.
However, the Ministry of Health ruled out that the contagions registered in the educational establishments had occurred inside them. “It is impossible to blame the schools,” said the minister of the portfolio, Enrique Paris. “How is it possible that they said that when schools were barely open, and on the first day of school a positive case appeared? We all know that the incubation period is 14 days, this is misleading public opinion, ”added Paris at a news conference. After receiving criticism for the changes introduced in the government’s “Footsteps” plan, which so far allows schools, gyms and casinos to open in phase 2, the minister claimed that places with more freedoms work “with a lot of demands”.
Paris acknowledged that the possibility of contagion exists and that “very strict monitoring is being carried out”. “Schools are much safer than homes for children who have little social support, who do not have good food and who do not have an internet connection,” he said. Chile has recorded 845,450 cases of Covid-19 and almost 21,000 deaths related to the disease since the beginning of the pandemic.
* With information from EFE