The Health Ministry will be “constantly monitoring” the health situation as schools reopened for the new academic term Monday as concerns about the presence of the new Omicron coronavirus variant linger.
“We’ll continue to monitor and see how that goes,” the Minister stated.
Though the Omicron variant is more transmissible, that is, more easily spread from person to person, Dr. Anthony said that it does not appear to generate more serious symptoms.
And, he noted that children who have become infected with COVID-19 but are vaccinated usually experience milder symptoms in other countries where the presence of the Omicron variant has been confirmed.
“If there are children who get a more severe form of the disease, then they will have to be hospitalised and we will work with them accordingly,” Dr Anthony stated.
The reopening of schools comes weeks after Minister of Education Priya Manickchand lamented that children were missing out on valuable learning time due to virtual or rotational school.
The issue of learning loss, including hundreds of dropouts, has been a prime concern of the local education authorities over the past few months.
To allow for a safe reopening of schools, COVID-19 vaccines have been offered to teenagers aged 12 to 17. These students, even if unvaccinated, have been allowed to return to schools.
Meanwhile, all Grade Six children are being allowed to attend face-to-face classes every day since they are scheduled to sit the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), Guyana’s secondary school entrance examination, later in the year.