Return to school should be delayed
WITH the number of new Covid-19 cases recorded daily being in the four figures, parents are hoping the Education Ministry would delay the reopening of schools, which is scheduled for Jan 20,
fearing this would put their children at risk of contracting the disease.
Those who live near schools are also afraid because the return of students would mean more people converging in their surroundings, putting them at risk of being infected and their housing area placed under enhanced MCO.
There is a school in front of my house in a residential area. The school is surrounded on all sides by homes. During school days, the area is gridlocked with vehicles as parents send or fetch their children to and from school.
My residential area is home to many senior citizens who usually go out to exercise. This exposes them to the risk of contracting the virus. If a student is found to have Covid-19, the entire area would be locked down and residents would not be able to go out.
Many students walk past my house after leaving school every day. They gather in front of my house while waiting for their parents to pick them up. When school was reopened for a short time after the MCO, they were in front of my house as usual and were not physically distancing from one another.
I propose that the Education Ministry reopens schools on April 5 instead of Jan 20 for two main reasons. Firstly, the schools can be used to test the standard operating procedures thoroughly before students return.
Secondly, the movement of people can be controlled, hence reducing the spread of Covid-19 since Malaysia has been reporting higher numbers of cases since last September.
Vaccination would also be underway by then, as Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba has announced that the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine in Malaysia would start in February.