Egypt bans street vendors as part of school virus strategy

Egypt bans street vendors as part of school virus strategy
Street vendors outside schools in Egypt will be banned under rules to protect students and teachers from COVID-19. (File/AFP)
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Updated 03 September 2020

Egypt bans street vendors as part of school virus strategy

Egypt bans street vendors as part of school virus strategy
  • The school year will start on Oct.17 and continue for 33 weeks until June 24, 2021
  • Students, teachers and other staff will also have their temperatures measured before entering or leaving school

CAIRO: Street vendors outside schools will be banned and children will have to eat meals brought from home under strict new rules to protect students and teachers in Egypt from the coronavirus.
The health ministry’s pandemic strategy for schools, which includes a ban on smoking on school premises along with social distancing and cleaning protocols adopted in businesses and other workplaces around the country, comes weeks before the start of the academic year.
The school year will start on Oct.17 and continue for 33 weeks until June 24, 2021.
Alaa Eid, the ministry’s head of preventive medicine, said that temporary isolation rooms will also be set up for students or staff members suspected of being infected with the virus.
Supervisors will remain with the student until a doctor and the student’s guardian are present.
Schools will also place awareness posters at their entrances and detail protective measures to counter the threat of the virus.
Mohamed Awad Tag El-Din, presidential adviser for health, said that the current level of new infections in Egypt made it impossible to reduce the number of cases to zero.
Coronavirus precautionary measures in Egypt will continue at least until next March, he said.
“There are more than 100 vaccines undergoing testing, seven of which have reached the third stage,” Tag El-Din said.
Egypt is studying the results of all vaccine research, he said.
As part of the new strategy, school buses will be disinfected regularly.
Students, teachers and other staff will also have their temperatures measured before entering or leaving the school.
To ensure a safe distance, students will sit at separate desks and will be encouraged to spend their breaks outdoors.
Absences must be tracked between students and school personnel, and in the event of a noticeable increase, the health administration must be notified to conduct the necessary investigation and if there are confirmed cases, the school gets notified.
The strategy also calls for a minimum two-meter distance between people, especially during meetings. In cases where this is impossible, the distance must not be less than a meter and face masks must be worn, except by those who are exempt.
Meetings should also be held using modern communication technologies where possible.
Students will have to eat their own meals brought from home and use their own bottle of water. Food and drink on school grounds will be limited, and dining halls will be restricted to half normal capacity.
The plan said that if a student is experiencing symptoms or a high temperature, they should remain at home until the symptoms disappear. A child whose condition worsens must visit the nearest hospital and then stay home for a period of 14 days if in contact with an infected person.
When paying tuition fees, guardians should place cash in a sealed envelope to decrease the physical exchange of currency.
Schools will also form coordination committees to implement and supervise protective measures, including providing detergents and disinfectants.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said the new strategy will ensure the highest possible levels of safety for students and those working in the education system.