Prague High schools in high-risk areas will likely close for 14 days starting Monday. The measures that should affect them will be presented by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday. Kindergartens, elementary schools, and lower grades of multi-year grammar schools will continue teaching full-time as before. Existing regulations will continue to apply to universities for hygienists who have requested distance learning in areas of high risk for infection with the Coronavirus. After the meeting, Health Minister Roman Primula and Education Secretary Robert Plaga (both for YES) told the press.
Primula described the short-term partial closure of schools as the least economic burden. “We will announce this regionally, so that the measures will be applied in areas that turn orange or red now, and in areas where the situation is better than the epidemic, the measures will not be applied yet,” he said. He said the goal is to curb the spread of coronavirus infection and thus maintain the situation at a level that does not require any further measures.
“The measures will be applied to secondary schools in the next 14 days, but as I said, details and more will be announced at a special press conference tomorrow (Wednesday),” Blaga said. According to him, the measures should take effect from Monday. Higher vocational schools should have a similar system to high schools in the next two weeks. It expects that multi-year grammar school principals will be able to adjust instruction for older students while maintaining current schedules for younger children. “It is definitely possible,” he said. According to him, school groups will not be subject to restrictions.
Primula says the high morbidity rates of health professionals need a radical solution. He wants an emergency from Monday
He added that he and Prymul will simultaneously propose to the government that each of the 250,000 educational and non-educational workers receive ten respirators from the state’s material reserves. The country should provide them with a total of 2.5 million respirators. Earlier, Plaga suggested that the government provide 620,000 ventilators for teachers from the least affected areas. The government has not yet approved the proposal.
According to the ministers, the measures in secondary schools will be accompanied by others aimed at limiting the number of people who participate in recreational activities. This should include, among other things, gatherings in large malls, where high school students often meet outside of school.
According to Prymula, high schools participate in half of the disease outbreaks. According to him, there are now around 2,000 cases in it and 2,200 in primary schools. “It must be said that in primary schools up to the age of 12 years, children, despite their infection, contribute significantly to the spread of disease less than it does with advanced age.” About 420,000 students enroll in secondary school and about 950,000 students in primary schools.
On Tuesday, Primula met with the management of the Czech Chamber of Commerce. Early in the evening, the Chamber stated in a press release that stricter preventive measures against the spread of coronavirus in schools could significantly reduce key vocational training in technical fields in vocational schools, high vocational schools and companies. According to her, Primula has promised to resume professional practice in secondary schools after the planned full closure of schools for 14 days.
Due to the bad epidemiological situation, they had to switch to distance learning at the universities of Prague, Brno, Bardobis, Pilsen and Zlin last week after being requested by hygienists. The regulation does not apply to individual visits to libraries and study rooms, individual consultations, testing in the presence of up to ten people, laboratory, experimental or technical work in the presence of up to 15 people, and to teaching, clinical and practical practice.
According to Primula, the so-called reproductive number, which indicates the prevalence of the disease, ranged between 1.26 and 1.29 on Sunday. According to him, the measure should lead to a reduction from 0.9 to 0.8. There are currently 33,466 patients. In most cases, the course of infection is milder, however, the number of people hospitalized and recently deceased has increased.