reopening of schools
Turkey's first-grade and kindergarten students started school on Sept. 21, as schools "reopened" with COVID-19 precautions amid a second peak of infections. While the class schedule has been adjusted to minimize social interaction, parents are free to keep their kids home from school as attendance is not mandatory.
Two school principals in the central Anatolian province of Konya died from COVID-19 on Sept. 13, a week before schools are due to open in Turkey. The Health Ministry reported 57 COVID-19 deaths overall on the same day, as well as 1,527 additional diagnoses.
Vural Özdemir writes from Toronto: Digital technologies offer real prospects for health care in an era of COVID-19. But let’s not forget that health is ultimately analog. We have not become AI powered robots, at least not just yet. Digital health is a proxy, a tool, not an end point, to improve analog health.
Turkey's Education and Science Workers’ Union, better known with its abbreviation Eğitim-Sen, revealed that there are some 172 schools in Turkey where COVID-19 cases have been detected. The announcement comes as teachers are holding online make-up classes for the upcoming school year, scheduled to start on Sept. 21.
Turkey's COVID-19 Science Committee member Prof. Özlem Kurt Azap said that everyone should be administered free flu shots before the influenza season kicks off in October. Azap said that flu patients could overwhelm the health system, which is why extensive vaccination should be carried out, especially if schools reopen.
Some 64 percent of Turkish people are of the belief that it is not safe to allow schools to reopen on Aug. 31 amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a recent survey conducted by Metropoll. The survey also looked at how supporters of different political parties view this issue, finding that 53 percent of AKP voters do not support the government's planned move.
Two senior Turkish officials have told Reuters that the daily COVID-19 infection rate may need to dip below the more than 900 seen recently for the government to reopen all schools across the country. One of the officials said classes might have to remain online for some southeastern provinces. "The normalization is under way ... but the numbers should have fallen faster."