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Filipche: If epidemiological situation is stable, more children in schools as of November

Health Minister Venko Filipche said Thursday if the epidemiological situation is stable, at the beginning of November more students would be allowed to be physically present in classes in schools.

Skopje, 18 September 2020 (MIA) – Health Minister Venko Filipche said Thursday if the epidemiological situation is stable, at the beginning of November more students would be allowed to be physically present in classes in schools.

“From October 1, other classes could be able to be physically present in schools, only in a situation when the total number of children in the classes or the number of classes in a school is small enough that epidemiologists believe the risk is low, i.e. the same or lower,” Filipche told Alsat-M TV on Thursday.

It’s one thing, he stressed, to have a hundred of children from first to third grade to be physically present in schools, but it would be more than double the risk to have a hundred more children in the fourth, fifth and sixth grade at the beginning of October because they are in contact with the same teachers.

“For instance, if a teacher is positive for coronavirus and comes into contact with a large number of children, they would all be at risk. That’s why we’re taking it part by part,” Filipche pointed out.

He noted that every measure is taken and recommended to be complied with. According to him, people must be aware that it’s the only way to protect their own health and the health of others.

“We don’t want to have a huge number of risk factors concentrated in a single time period. We believe that the month of September is when people go back to work and spend more time indoors. Recommendations are in place for every economic operator, company, the administration on wearing masks, maintaining distance, etc. The recommendation for working from home has been in place since the beginning for those who are able to do that, and this is the case worldwide,” Filipche said.

He pointed out that life cannot stop due to the pandemic.

“We can see what’s happening in other countries in the world where measures are not respected. Such is the case with Israel now. After schools and kindergartens were opened all at once, they are now forced to introduce quarantine. We have protocols in place and a way of functioning for all economic operators. This will be the way to live by.  We cannot impose restrictions that could bring about certain bad effects in the medium and long-term, and then reflect on people’s health. Life has simply changed everywhere. People need to be aware that measures are to be respected,” Filipche pointed out.

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