Reopening of Schools: WHO Recommend Measures

By Chinenye Festus:-
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has provided a long list of strategies and adaptions that is to be strictly followed so as to curb the spread and limit exposure to Covid-19 Pandemic. These were their recommendations :
Assess what can be done to limit risk of exposure, or direct physical contact, in physical education classes, sports or other physical activities, and play in playgrounds, wet areas and changing rooms.
Increase frequency of cleaning in gym and sports facilities and changing rooms, provide hand hygiene stations at entrances and exits, establish one-way circulation of athletes through the facilities and limit the number of persons allowed in the locker room at one time.
Put in place respiratory and hand hygiene and physical distancing measures in transportation such as school buses, and tips for students on a safe commute to and from school, including those using public transport.
Only 1 child per seat and at least 1 meter apart in school buses, if possible. This may lead to a need to increase the number of school buses per school. If possible, windows of the bus should be kept open.
Develop a school policy on wearing a mask or a face covering in line with national or local guidance. If a child or school staff is sick, she/he should not come to school.
Provide sufficient medical masks for those who need it, such as school nurses and children with symptoms.
Screening and management of sick students, teachers and other school staff
Enforce the policy of “staying at home if unwell” for students, teachers, or school staff with symptoms. If possible, connect with local organizations to provide home care support and ensure communication between home and school.
WHO recommends 70% ethyl alcohol to disinfect small surface areas and equipment, or sodium hypochlorite 0.1% for disinfecting surfaces. Explain to the students the reason for school-related measures, including discussing the scientific considerations and highlighting the help they can get through schools (e.g. psychosocial support).
Inform parents about the measures the school is putting in place and ask for cooperation to report any cases of COVID-19 that occur in the household. If someone in the household is suspected to have COVID-19, keep the child home, and inform the school.
Ensure that school entry immunization checks are in place. Check vaccination status for outbreak-prone vaccine-preventable diseases (e.g. measles) and remind parents of the importance of ensuring their children are up to date with all eligible vaccinations. For school-based immunization programs, ensure there a plan for catch-up vaccination if needed.
Boarding schools and other specialized institutions will need to extend these considerations to residential facilities, lecture halls, laboratories, and other learning facilities for the all-round benefit and safety of students and staff. Physical distancing and tele-schooling Physical distancing at school.
These and more were some of the adaptions they recommended. There is need for flexibility and modification of approaches as needed to ensure learning and sharing of good habits so we all can win the fight against the dreaded Coronavirus.

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