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Coronavirus: decree mandates testing for all teachers and school staff

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Teachers and school staff must undergo a mandatory weekly rapid antigen test starting Saturday, the health and education ministries announced on Friday.

This decree comes as a response to the slight increase in positive cases recorded in the past week, which saw infection clusters forming in a number of schools.

This signals that the virus is not only being transmitted between family members but has spread to schools, either through staff or through the students’ family contacts.

Teachers will be able to take the tests free of charge at ministry of health test sites, or privately at their own expense.

All school staff will be required to present a negative test certificate on returning to school on March 1, when thorough inspections will begin, the ministries said.

At the same time, students are strongly advised to take a rapid test with the consent of their parents or guardians.

There have been cases where people presenting coronavirus symptoms continue to go to work, thus delaying their diagnosis while spreading the virus within their workplaces, the announcement said.

Finally, the ministries reminded the public that if they develop coronavirus symptoms, they should self-isolate and contact their personal doctor immediately for advice and/or to be referred for a laboratory test.

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