“Even in a worsening epidemiological situation, we have set rules through a modified COVID machine so that we do not have to close schools,” said the minister. He declared that even if the chief hygienist came to him with a request to close the schools, he would not comply. “To be clear, I will never sign a school closure,” he added.
Elena Prokopová, the chief expert of the Ministry of Health (MH) of the Slovak Republic for pediatrics, reminded that currently schools and society are in a completely different situation in the fight against the new coronavirus than last year. “Today we have people vaccinated, as well as people who have overcome the disease and have antibodies, we also know how the virus behaves, how it spreads.” clarified. She emphasized that all the rules for opening primary schools had been set so that children could be as safe as possible. “That’s why we’ve added those antigen and gargle tests to the self-test to capture any positive cases,” stressed Prekop. According to her, whether and how the situation may worsen will depend on the responsibility of the whole society, including the parents of the children.
The Minister reminded that the parents were very interested in antigen tests for voluntary self-testing at home, informing that on Friday (September 3) all allocated antigen tests were distributed through the district offices, with the exception of the Prešov region. “We’ll make it in the next few days,” Gröhling assured, justifying the delay in storage capacity and logistics.
The discussants also commented on the possible vaccination of children in schools. According to Prekopová, in case of interest, such a project is possible, but in addition to the presence of a pediatrician and legal representative, a sufficient interest in vaccination is also a condition. “If it involves five children, it would not, logistically, be efficient.” they warned the expert. The Minister indicated that, according to his information, the Banská Bystrica self-governing region should come up with such a pilot project in mid-September.