15,547 self-tests carried out by students and teachers on Sunday and early Monday were tested positive to Covid-19, the sources at the Greek Education Ministry told media Monday noon, when schools reopened after the Christmas holidays break. The results of self-tests carried out at vocational schools were still due late on the day.
The self-tests at schools are mandatory for vaccinated, unvaccinated and Covid-recovered students and staff. Those tested positive have to go to a five-day quarantine and return to school if they have no symptoms.
In total, 1.6 million people [students and teachers] were tested, while “the largest simultaneous testing of the population against coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic was carried out,” the sources of the Education ministry added.
Previously, the numbers being tested were smaller as only unvaccinated individuals were obliged to do a test, the sources noted.
The government distributed via pharmacies 5 self-tests free of charge to each student and teacher for the first week of the reopening.
However, some 200,000 students were left without the kits over the weekend due to shortages in pharmacies across the country and specifically in big urban centers.
Teacher with self-tests: at least they didn’t ask the teachers to carry out the tests to the kids.
In a last minute effort to solve the problem without having to delay the reopening of the schools, the government decided to swift the procedure to the schools and supplied them with self-test kits thus obliging teachers and students to go earlier to the education institutions in order to distribute, carry out and register the test results to the relevant online platform.
Early Monday morning teachers are at school to deal with the kits provided by municipalities.
Teachers held a 2-hour work stoppage demanding effective health protection measures, while in several schools students staged protests.
“We don’t want to know, if we are Covid-positive, we just don’t want to get the virus and get sick,” a high-school student told Ant1 TV.
An unknown number of parents did not send their children to school on Monday out of fear of contamination and told media that they would rather wait for a couple of days.
Students and teachers are obliged to carry out another self-test today, before they go to school on Tuesday.
Now the big question is whether the Education Ministry has a plan to replace the teachers who are in isolation for the rest of the school week.
Classrooms will be shut down only if 50%+1 student are tested positive to virus. Classrooms have a maximum of 26-27 children.
The Education Ministry and the government reportedly cheer that “without returning to schools we would not be able to detect so many Covid-positive cases,” while critics withstand that “with a serious epidemiological surveillance there wouldn’t be such a high number of positive students.”