Tunisia: Covid-19 - 'All Protective Measures to Be Taken in Schools, Shutdown Considered in Case of Multiple Infections (Ben Alaya)

Tunis/Tunisia — All measures will be taken to limit the spread of Coronavirus in educational institutions after the start of the school year scheduled for September 15 this year and this will go as far as to shut down schools in case of multiple infections, Director General of the National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases Nissaf Ben Alaya said Wednesday

In response to a question from TAP on protective measures in case of infection in schools, Ben Alaya pointed out that all means will be implemented to contain the spread of the virus in these institutions in light of the results of active screening carried out in coordination with the Ministry of Health.

She added that decisions, which may range from the isolation of suspected cases, to the temporary shutdown of classrooms and the institution, before starting disinfection operations will be taken on time.

At a press briefing on the evolution of the epidemiological situation in the country, Ben Alaya announced that students affected by the coronavirus will be isolated and placed under medical observation, calling on the Ministry of Education to ensure the continuity of classes for the benefit of these students.

The general health protocol for the start of the school year 2020-2021 developed for the prevention of coronavirus, was signed by the Ministers of Health, Social Affairs, Education, Higher Education, Women, and Religious Affairs.

It includes many recommendations and preventive measures to limit the spread of coronavirus in educational and training institutions.

The protocol was developed by a team composed of experts from the Ministry of Health's Directorate of School and University Medicine, civil society, reference experts and representatives of relevant ministries.

It provides for mandatory wearing of protective masks for all staff in educational and training facilities stipulates the mandatory wearing of protective masks for all workers in educational and training spaces, for students aged 12 and over, middle school students and students and learners in training centers.

Children in the pre-school phase and in the basic education cycle are not affected by the obligation to wear masks. The protocol also requires screening and monitoring at the entrance to educational and training institutions and provides for the isolation of cases suspected of being infected with the coronavirus.

The recommendations of the health protocol also provide for cleaning and disinfection of toilets and educational and training facilities, conducting awareness campaigns and psychological support for children, pupils and students.

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