Views /Editorial

Measures protecting schools

Published: 26 Aug 2022 - 09:12 am | Last Updated: 26 Aug 2022 - 09:12 am

Qatar has succeeded in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic because of its high vaccination rates and precautionary measures, while many countries have seen several waves of the virus. This could be possible because of government-funded free-for-all vaccines and the highest level of care and treatment of COVID-19 patients. 

Qatar has invested heavily in its skilled health workforce and disaster preparedness. It was the resilience and the dedication of the country’s talented health workers that enabled it to have one of the lowest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world. The nation has contributed to global scientific understanding regarding COVID-19 through publication of local data and findings in leading journals and publications. Qatar National Vision 2030 emphasises the importance of health and education which has resulted in major investments in health sector.    

The country opened its schools after the summer break as adherence to preventive measures prevented schools from reverting back to online learning. More than 225,118 students in 212 public schools and kindergartens, and more than 215,000 in 338 private schools and kindergartens, have returned to school for the start of the new school year with full attendance.

As part of the broader campaign against the virus, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the Ministry of Public Health will conduct inspection tours of schools to ensure preventive measures. 

Thanks to the well-planned and coordinated opening of schools, which has made schools and other educational institutions safer and to continue work smoothly. 

For further assurance of schools safety, and to protect students and staff from the virus, the MoPH will conduct random tests in schools, targeting educational staff and students to ensure there is no  infection cases. A circular has been sent to all schools containing instructions. All students and educational staff must wear a mask in schools, and all students are to fill out a rapid antigen test form before coming to school. A cell, made up of members from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Health are closely monitoring the situation in schools and ready to take appropriate measures to protect schools and the society. 

The Head of Vaccination at the MoPH Dr. Soha Al Bayat said that the ministry has assigned a dedicated email address for schools to request any examination, report cases and for inquiries. 

Qatar was able to protect the health of the population and the its economy from the devastating impacts of the pandemic through a balanced and scientific approach to public health measures, facilitating a smooth and safe return to normal life.