The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
Students aged 12 years and above who plan to physically attend school next term are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result prior to attending face-to-face classes.
COVID-19 PCR testing is also mandatory for teachers and school staff, announced the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) on Monday.
The decision is the result of Adek’s extensive coordination with health authorities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to ensure a safe return to school for all, following the Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee’s announcement last month in collaboration with Adek, which stated that all private school students in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi will have the option to return to face-to-face education for the next academic term, beginning on Jan.3, 2021.
Students of Determination and full time distance learning students are exempt from taking the test.
COVID-19 PCR tests will be provided free of charge on a specific date for each school till Dec.31, at designated Seha screening centres. Adek has already sent Private and Charter schools across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi a PCR testing schedule in order to ensure students, teachers and staff avail the free Covid-19 PCR test on time.
The schedule is also available on Adek’s website.
To avail the free test, a valid Emirates ID and a dedicated school code must be presented at the testing center. Parents may contact schools to obtain the code, location, time and date details as per the schedule provided by Adek.
Students, teachers and staff who choose to take the PCR test at an alternative date or location may do so at a private or public healthcare facility at their own expense, in which case the PCR test must be taken after Dec.21.
Periodic testing will continue for teachers and school staff. A schedule for those tests with location, date and timing details will be shared with schools in due course.
Last month, Adek announced that all private school students in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi will have the option to return to in-classroom education for the new academic term, which starts on Jan.3, 2021. ADEK’s decision is in line with Department’s mission to provide education with the highest health and safety standards.
To provide parents, students and staff members in private schools in Dubai with an effective and convenient mechanism to address COVID-19 related queries, the Dubai Health Authority has launched a dedicated 24/7 back-to-school helpline at phone number 800588.
The launch of this service reinforces the authority’s commitment to provide effective communication channels to the community, offering timely and accurate health information.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved specific funding for the advance purchase of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a statement released by the Ministry of National Health Services Regulation on Thursday.
The guidebook, which is available on the DHA website, aims to provide parents with accurate, updated and reliable information on the best ways to keep themselves, families and communities safe. Dr Hend Al Awadhi stressed on parents, the importance of adhering to all health instructions issued by schools and detailed in the guidebook.
The Punjab government is keeping a close eye on coronavirus cases in the schools, Minister Murad Raas said adding that random testing was being conducted and a slight increase in numbers has been observed.
The committee has approved continued strict adherence to home quarantine procedures and required testing schedules based on personal responsibility, apart from monitoring by healthcare systems to ensure compliance with precautionary measures.
The decision follows the announcement of a decreased COVID-19 infection rate in the emirate of 0.2 per cent of total tests and the activation of the green pass system to enter some public places.
Cuba has two homegrown vaccines, Abdala and Soberana, that it says are safe and effective. Both require three shots. In previous weeks, the government started vaccinating people between 11 and 18 years old.