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No face-to-face classes in April for most grades- Education Minister

Last Updated on Thursday, 1 April 2021, 21:44 by Denis Chabrol

Amid a surge in deaths and new COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, schools will be remain closed during April, 2021 until new information that is hinged on the “robust” vaccination programme  is available, Education Minister Priya Manickchand said Thursday.

“We’re advised by the Ministry of Health that we cannot reopen schools for the month of April and so schools will remain closed to face-to-face learning for the month of April except for those classrooms that we have already reopened,”  she said.

She only Grades 10, 11 and 12 would continue to have face-to-face classes.

Government had previously toyed with the idea of reopening schools in April after the Easter holidays.

Several Caribbean countries including Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, and Belize that schools will reopen later this month.

The Minister of Education promised to keep Guyanese abreast about a date when physical classes would restart after more than one year due to the coronavirus. “As soon as this information changes, as soon as we get information from the Ministry of Health that we can change that, we will let you know in updates,” said Ms. Manickchand.

She said the factors that are influencing government’s decision include the pace of vaccination and the number of new infections with the safety of students and their families.

The Health Ministry on Thursday reported that the COVID-19 death toll has risen to 235 by four more persons. There were 126 new infections and 907 persons ordered by doctors to isolate themselves at home to avoid coming into contact with other persons.

More than 30 persons have died within the past six weeks.

The four who died on Thursday are a 91 year- old woman from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), an 84 year old woman from Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice), a 62-year old man from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and a 45 year old man rom Region Four.

Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony on Thursday said 36,000 persons have so far been vaccinated to prevent them from falling seriously ill and dying from virus, SARS-COV-2.

Guyana is expecting 25,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik-V vaccines as part of the first tranche out of a total of 200,000 doses. Already, Guyana has sourced the Chinese-made SinoPharm and AstraZeneca vaccines.