Students key to next phase of the pandemic, say Saudi health officials

Emad Al-Mohammadi, a preventive medicine and public health consultant, speaks during a daily press conference on the coronavirus outbreak in Riyadh. (Screenshot)
Emad Al-Mohammadi, a preventive medicine and public health consultant, speaks during a daily press conference on the coronavirus outbreak in Riyadh. (Screenshot)
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Updated 22 August 2021

Students key to next phase of the pandemic, say Saudi health officials

Students key to next phase of the pandemic, say Saudi health officials
  • The family has an important role in enhancing public health situation, officials say
  • Ministry of Education has designated committees to implement and follow-up on plans in educational institutions to ensure public health and safety

JEDDAH: With fully jabbed students returning to schools and universities next week, the Saudi health authorities have outlined efforts to ensure maximum safety as the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues.
On Sunday, the Public Health Authority said that students will play a major role in maintaining the stability of the health situation in the Kingdom, adding that parents will also need to play their part.
“Social distancing and protection protocols are constantly updated, including education protocols, to ensure a safe return,” said preventive medicine and public health consultant Emad Al-Mohammadi at a Sunday press conference.
Al-Mohammadi said that students infected with COVID-19 or who report respiratory symptoms cannot attend school until their full recovery.
“The family has an important role in enhancing public health situation, by ensuring good nutrition for their children and encouraging them to commit to a routine that includes physical activity,” he said, adding: “On the other hand, they must provide children with preventive supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer, and a complete stationery set in order to eliminate direct contact with other students or their belongings.”
“Students’ biggest role in the next period is adhering to preventive measures,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has designated supervisory, executive and operational committees to implement and follow-up on plans in educational institutions to ensure the health and safety of administrative and academic staff.
Each school will allocate a specific isolation room for students who have potentially been infected with COVID-19. Moreover, classes will be frequently sanitized, and if there is a suspected infection, the whole class will be moved online.
The Ministry of Health continues to urge the public to get the vaccine and announced that the Moderna vaccine is now available for children aged between 12 and 17.
The MOH added that the same age group are permitted to mix doses, receiving either Pfizer or Moderna jabs.
Nearly 34 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the Kingdom, including more than 12.5 million second doses.
“The delta variant is widespread across the Kingdom. It spreads three times faster than the basic form of the virus. Therefore, a single dose of the vaccine is not sufficient to counter the delta variant, while two doses proved their effectiveness,” said MOH spokesperson Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly.