Gov’t to Conduct Surveillance to Prevent Emergence of Limited In-Person Learning Cluster
Date 27 September 2021
In a bid to prevent COVID-19 clusters of limited in-person learning (PTM) in schools, the Government will focus on two upstream COVID-19 control strategies, namely the behavioral changes and the advanced surveillance strategy.
“We want to carry out a special surveillance strategy for teaching and learning activities. If this proves successful, we will replicate it to activities of trade, tourism, religious event, transportation, and so on,” Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin said in a virtual press statement after attending Limited Cabinet Meeting on the Implementation of Public Activity Restrictions (PPKM) on Monday (27/09).
According to Budi, the surveillance strategy in the education unit must be started massively in line with the limited PTM that must be carried out to reduce long-term disbenefit for students.
“We will take a sample of 10 percent of the number of schools that hold in-person learning at city/regency level. From this 10 percent, we divide the allocation based on districts and if in one district there are many schools [that hold in-person learning], then more [samples] will be taken from the said district,” the Minister said.
Budi further said that the sampling based on the district is carried out since the epidemiologist stated the transmission is more likely to occur between districts. Therefore, the epidemiological area per district must be monitored closely.
In addition, the Government will conduct PCR tests on 30 students and 3 teachers/education staff for each school at least once per month.
“It is normal if there is a school that has positive cases with positivity rate below one percent. We will conduct tracing and isolate the close contacts, quarantine those tested positive [for COVID-19], and in-person learning at the school will continue,” he said.
However, if the positivity rate is between 1 and 5 percent, the Government will test all study group participants and they will be quarantined, while the limited in-person learning will continue.
As for the positivity rate above 5 percent, the Government will test the whole school members and switch to online learning for 14 days. Related parties from Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology and the local Health Office will evaluate and improve on what is lacking in the school.
“We ensure that the surveillance is carried out at the smallest level. If there is a possibility of an outbreak, then only the related schools will be closed and the others that implement health protocols properly can still conduct in-person learning,” Budi remarked. (SLN/UN) (GWH/MUR)