The Malta Independent 18 January 2022, Tuesday

Covid-19 cases in schools ‘within normal range’, no need for added restrictions yet - Caruana

Giuseppe Attard Thursday, 2 December 2021, 08:30 Last update: about 3 months ago

While some cases of Covid-19 have been reported among schoolchildren, the numbers are “within the normal range,” Education Minister Justyne Caruana told The Malta Independent yesterday.

She also confirmed that there are no plans so far to increase restrictions due to Omicron variant.

Malta has yet to register its first South African Covid-19 variant called Omicron. Believed to be more easily transmittable, various countries in the European Union who registered their first cases in the past week have rushed to impose restriction measures in order to mitigate its spread in the community.

Speaking to The Malta Independent, Caruana stated that the Ministry is in contact communication with the health authorities in order to follow any guidelines they might put forward. "We are always cautious in the decisions we take, and we are constantly relaying information to the health authorities in order to discuss if the mitigation measures in school need to be increased or not.”

Although Caruana did not exclude having to close schools for another time due to the pandemic, she said that “if the health authorities ask the ministry to close the schools, we would comply as the health authorities know what’s best for the health of the nation.”

A few days ago, the European Medicines Agency approved the vaccine for children aged 5 to 11. This is an important development in the fight against Covid-19, Caruana said. “The cohort aged 12 and up is doing well in their vaccination programme, but we now have to push for the younger cohort to vaccinate themselves as soon as possible.”

In her final appeal, Caruana pleaded with adults who deliberately did not take the vaccine to do so. “Although the booster doses for educators are being given, there still is cases within the education system where educators have not taken the first dose of the vaccine. These people are risking their health and the health of those around them.”

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