Schools at All Levels in Taiwan Will Start as Scheduled 教部與教局討論防疫 初步決議如期開學

Schools at all levels in Taiwan will start school as originally planned, despite the potential BA.5 subvariant outbreak. The authorities promised to carry out a more rigid disease fighting measures.

School teachers are preparing for a smooth parents' day by using rubbing alcohol to sterilize the seats. Boxes of quick-screening tests must be inventoried. Schools at all levels in Taiwan will start at the end of August and early September. However, the epidemic has not subsided, and the BA.5 variant wave may also arrive. Officials have now focused again on how to prevent outbreaks on campuses.

Yen Shu-chu, Principal, Taipei Municipal Changan Elementary School: “If a student is diagnosed, his or her class will be suspended for three days. Students then must be screened with quick screening tests on the fourth day. A student can only enter the school with a negative test. This is our SOP when school starts.”

The Ministry of Education held a meeting with all the nation's education bureaus and departments' directors on the evening of the 18th. It announced its epidemic prevention plan for the first three weeks of school. Classes will be suspended for three days if there is a confirmed diagnosis in the class. However, starting in the fourth week, schools will provide quick screening tests. One can still attend class with a negative test result. In addition, the original three-day epidemic prevention leave will be voided. Instead, if the student interacts with a confirmed case without wearing a mask for 15 minutes, one may still attend class with a negative quick screening test result.

Yen Shu-chu, Principal, Taipei Municipal Changan Elementary School: “Of course, we will coordinate our SOPs with this rolling policy. We already have triple the number of rapid screening tests compared to our school population, or about 2,800 tests. If the test amount is not enough, we will rely on the Education Department to increase our inventory to about five times.”

Schools should prepare epidemic prevention materials for the challenge. The MOE responded that relevant regulations must still be discussed with the Central Epidemic Command Center and will be explained before the school starts. Some doctors said it is not necessary as for whether to postpone the start of school due to the epidemic.

Huang Kao-pin, Deputy Director, China Medical University Hospital: “The whole world is now coexisting with the virus. If we delay school again, it seems we will affect the educational rights of students. Normal children are less susceptible to infection. Get vaccinated. That would be safer.”

The doctor said that children have fewer ACE2 receptors than adults, so they are relatively less susceptible to infection. However, parents are advised to consider whether to let their children vaccinate mainly to avoid MIS-C or other severe diseases.











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