SCHOOLS to reopen soon

By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

The public institutions of learning across the country are set to resume soon particularly sometimes in July as the coronavirus positive cases come down gradually in the country, the new Health Ministry’s Undersecretary has said.

While addressing the weekly briefing for the first time on Sunday, Prof. Mayen Machut Achiek, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health revealed the trends of the pandemic has been slowly ceasing proving the rate of infection is diminishing in the country.

“Our trends are not as scaring as the time of the onsets of the virus, that is something amazing that would need to be maintained,” he said.

Prof. Mayen however said the plans to recommence schools were in consideration although the virus still there.

He stated that the existence of the virus shouldn’t obstruct the learning institutions from resumption since it was like other diseases.

“The risk of young people worldwide is consciously minimal, so we are not going to overwhelm the system; already the plan is in place for stage standard reopening of these institutions. We are going to do it soon between the 15th July to 15th of August,” narrated Undersecretary.

He said they were also watching the trends to ensure more policies on how to reopen the schools.

“Coronavirus is one of the diseases like diabetes, malaria and any other diseases, so we don’t have to stop development because of a single disease, although it is a disease of major public health concerns,” Prof. Mayen pronounced.

The Undersecretary revealed the National Taskforce was in discussion with universities and institutions of higher learning as they hold the next meeting to consolidate their ideas on the 1st of July.

“We held initial meeting and the advice was that we are going to consciously start with year 8 for the universities and year 4 for the secondary schools,” he said.

According to Health Professional, the statistics or numbers will be consciously taken through in the manner that will make sure they do not risk the lives of others as one of the primary plans made. On the universities reopening, distance learning was one of the priorities being considered in the short run.   

For the practical classes, small group would be introduced and social distancing be maintained as the students embark on the studies.  When asked on why some schools had resumed in some parts of Juba, Prof. Mayen stated whoever had resumed or was planning to resume before the Taskforce effect the order was a violator of the orders.

“Whoever is doing that mind to you is not authorized and is not the Health Ministry to authorize, it is the national taskforce that carries the authority to permit people to open or probably do what they re supposed to do,” he stated.

He added “it is a violation, if you open without the permission then it is a violation, the national taskforce should be the authority to do this.”

Dr. Mathew Tut, the Director for Preparedness and the Emergency Operations at the National Ministry of Health admits the coronavirus positive numbers being recorded were reducing compare to the past weeks.

Dr. Wamala Joseph Francis, the WHO country’s Preparedness and International Health Regulation Officer said they were investigating the trend to understand what was behind the reduction of the coronavirus cases in the country.

Currently, South Sudan has a cumulative frequent of 1,966 positive cases after the Public Health Laboratory reported 8 new cases on Saturday evening. Among them, there are 36 souls lost and 246 recoveries across the country.  

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