Health Minister Nelu Tataru said on Wednesday that any suggestion is “welcome” to draft health safety measures in schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Any suggestion is welcome. (…) That epidemiological triage or that observational triage that the parent does at home must be made known to all who mean school medicine and also to the teacher or professor who manages that group of children. We need to think about the health of the whole classroom and of the whole group of students who are attending school,” the minister said, according to Agerpres.
A draft ministerial order approving health safety measures in educational units during the COVID-19 pandemic was published on the website of the Ministry of Health on Tuesday.
Under the draft, the public health directorates must inform by September 7 the school inspectorates and the committees on emergency management about the epidemiological situation at the level of each school according to which measures will be taken for the beginning of school.
The school inspectorates are to propose for approval to the committees on emergency management the operational scenario for each educational unit in accordance with the epidemiological situation on September 7, the existing infrastructure and resources in each educational unit.
When three confirmed cases of COVID-19 disease occur in different classrooms of the same school, in-person classes will be suspended for 14 days of the start date of the last case.
In classrooms, physical distancing of one meter between the students has to be secured or providing benches with separators where distancing is not possible, establishing functional circuits, organising recreational spaces, assessing the necessary human resources; cleaning, hygiene and disinfection materials are needed, a stockpile of protective materials for students and staff, to which staff training is added.
Students and teaching/ancillary/non-teaching staff will wear face masks both during class and during breaks.
The protective mask will be mandatory for students during outdoor recreation, in crowded spaces, when a distance of at least one meter between students is not ensured. The protective mask is not mandatory for preschoolers.
The healthcare workers performing the triage according to Joint Order 1668/5298/2011 and WHO 653/2001 will wear waterproof gowns, caps, goggles/face shields, surgical masks, and disposable gloves.
PSD: Rules imposed by the Health Ministry regarding the start of school show run from responsibility
The rules imposed by the Health Ministry regarding the start of school show that the only preoccupation of those governing has been to run from responsibility, representatives of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) believe.
“Practically, the PNL [National Liberal Party] is saying to all that they only have obligations: children, parents and teachers should wear a mask, should sit no closer than one meter, should use disinfectants, and school directors also have to do epidemiological triage, more classrooms, separators for benches, different schedules from one class to the next. All this when the PNL has been unable to offer even the masks promised for disadvantaged persons!” wrote the Social Democrats, on Wednesday, on Facebook.
According to them, “the PNL’s educated Romania is Romania in which children from disadvantaged families do not matter, therefore the hundreds of thousands of families that do not have the money for masks do not have a right to send their children to school.”
“The PNL’s educated Romania is that in which the salaries of teaching staff is deemed by Prime Minister Orban as ‘restaurant money’, therefore teachers do not deserve the increase of salaries as provided by law. The PNL’s educated Romania is Romania in which pupils in local communities where there are insufficient classrooms nor money to apply the rules disposed from the offices of the Victoria Palace do not have a right to an education. The PNL’s educated Romania is Romania in which students do not exist, therefore, in order to start the university year no norms have been established,” claims the PSD.
The Social-Democrats accuse the Orban Government of “becoming a threat to Romanians”.
“Education is not Orban’s pub, professors do not subordinate to [Education Minister] Mrs. Anisie, and the children of Romania are not the guinea pigs of [Health Minister] Tataru! Voting the censure motion to dismiss the most toxic government in Romania’s recent history is more than a necessity, it’s a duty for the future of this country!” the PSD post also says.