Covid at school: what students, parents and authorities should do and what should fear of
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Covid at school: what students, parents and authorities should do and what should fear of

13 October , 09:14Society
When we were told of a confirmed case of coronavirus in a child in my daughter's class, the first reaction was confusion. Everyone who came into contact with the sick - that is, the whole class - had to take PCR for coronavirus. From that moment on, the problems began.

Irina Mishina

Some of the parents complained that in their district polyclinic there was a PCR recording for the diagnosis of coronavirus two weeks in advance, someone talked about the long queues and the danger of getting infected while standing in them. When I went to a private laboratory, they agreed to take a PCR for Covid-19 from the child, but at the same time they asked the question: "Did the student come into contact with patients with confirmed coronavirus?" Hearing my honest positive answer, I was denied: "Everyone who has been in contact with a Covid-19 patient must comply with the self-isolation regime until they receive a negative PCR test for coronavirus".

Wait, but how do you know if the child is sick or not?

The school reported that the data on the sick person and everyone who contacted him was transferred to Rospotrebnadzor. All orders had to come from there. It was from Rospotrebnadzor that they had to transfer information to district polyclinics so that they organize the process of testing for coronavirus. But there was no call from Rospotrebnadzor. Nobody.

Then I decided to take the initiative and called the Rospotrebnadzor hotline in Russia myself. Upon learning that the call was from Moscow, the receiver answered: “We cannot advise you, call the hotline of the Ministry of Health in your region”. I dialed the hotline of the Moscow Healthcare Department. An answering machine entered the conversation with me. It told which number to press to find out about the symptoms of coronavirus, which number to inquire about the digital pass (it turns out, they are already being discussed!), Which number to find out how to carry out the self-isolation regime... About how, where and in what time frame to pass PCR in contact with a patient with coronavirus, the "hot line" of the department was silent.

There was only one way out - to write an official request to the Moscow Department of Education. Here is what the "NI" answered in the Department for the Development of Public Administration and Public Relations of the Department of Education and Science of the city of Moscow:

“If one of the students confirms a coronavirus infection, then Rospotrebnadzor conducts an epidemic investigation, and all contact persons are sent to quarantine. Moreover, each case is considered on an individual basis. Class students will be required to stay at home for 14 days. During this period, their training will be organized using distance technologies. The families of the children who were sent to quarantine will be contacted by doctors from the polyclinic and, if necessary, will visit them. Before returning to classes, all children will have to be tested for coronavirus infection and provide an appropriate medical report. In the study room, where the sick person was identified, and in the common areas, disinfection and general cleaning are carried out. Also, schools observe all the necessary safety measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection".

The head of the branch of the Moscow district polyclinic explained the situation to me in a simpler and more intelligible way: “The school transmits all data on those who are sick with coronavirus and those who were in contact with it to Rospotrebnadzor and the Ministry of Health. These authorities transmit the lists of contacts and patients to district polyclinics. After that, polyclinics should call everyone on the list and resolve the issue of tests for the presence of coronavirus. But since there are a lot of cases, Rospotrebnadzor does not keep up with the deadlines".

As a result, parents began to act on their own, bypassing those organizations that should officially be involved in this. Someone managed to get the doctor to come to take PCR for coronavirus at home, someone signed up after long admonitions. At the same time, none of the district polyclinics in Moscow (and children from all over the city study in our school, it is not tied to the place of residence) - so, in none of the polyclinics, including the one closest to our school, there is no data on patients with coronavirus and contacts with he was not!

Question: why at the height of the epidemic Rospotrebnadzor and the Ministry of Health do not cope with their responsibilities, shifting the problems onto the shoulders of the school and parents? Is it really impossible to establish this simple information vertical? Especially taking into account the loud statement of the head of the government Mikhail Mishustin:

“The government has a reserve of 300 billion rubles in this year's budget. And it will be used for priority needs in the fight against the epidemic and its consequences".

Was there not enough money again?

There are even more questions with the transfer of schoolchildren to distance learning. Indirect data on the possibility of this appeared on October 5, when Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced new services in the Moscow Electronic School (MES) system. And on October 7, the head of the Duma faction "Fair Russia" Sergei Mironov proposed to oblige the Ministry of Education to report on the readiness of schools for remote work in order to exclude the "rush regime". At the same time, there were reports on the collection of teachers' data in the media and on social networks.

So, on the page of the trade union "Teacher" in the social network "VKontakte" a Moscow teacher said that at his school "almost everyone was transferred to a remote location" and also required to transfer personal data. In fairness, it should be noted that sources in the capital's mayor's office do not deny the likelihood of transferring schools to distance learning from October 19. However, the decision on this matter has not yet been made: everything will depend on the epidemiological situation. At the same time, some schools have already switched to "remote control" - for example, SSCC of Moscow State University named after Kolmogorov. Several confirmed cases of coronavirus have been identified there.

We asked the Ministry of Education about the prospect of switching to distance learning. A representative of the Ministry of Education, who wished to remain unnamed, said: “We are not deciding the issue of distance learning. This decision is made by governors, heads of regions. SUNTS them. Kolmogorov belongs to Moscow State University, which means that the reasons for transferring this school to the "remote control" should be asked from the rector of Moscow State University, and not from us. As for Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin has not yet said anything about transferring schools to distance learning. "

After teachers' reports that they could probably be transferred to distance learning from October 19 and personal data are being collected in this regard, the Moscow Department of Education and Science circulated the following commentary through the media:

“In accordance with the Decree of the Mayor of Moscow, schools are transferring to a remote mode of work at least 30% of employees, including people over 65 years old and with a number of chronic diseases. Also, employers are obliged to provide in electronic form information about employees who are subject and not subject to transfer to remote work mode. Since relevant information must be provided on a weekly basis, and the payroll of employees on a remote basis can change based on the needs of the organization, schools request information from all of their employees".

The attitude to the introduction of "remote control" today is ambiguous. On the one hand, DOXA student magazine is collecting signatures for a petition demanding the return of distance learning during the pandemic in order to preserve the health and lives of students and teachers. The authors of the appeal cite the following arguments: the majority of students use public transport; in classrooms, not all wear protective equipment. Among scientists, there are more supporters of the introduction of "remote control" than its opponents. For example, Andrey Fisenko, the director of the National Medical Research Center of Children's Health of the Russian Ministry of Health, expressed his conviction that only a complete transition to distance learning for children would interrupt the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Russia. "Based on the basics of epidemiology, this is my personal opinion, it seems to me that it is better to switch to distance education. It will be better for all residents of our city (Moscow - editor's note ) and for the country as a whole. I think, at least until the New Year", - said the honored doctor of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, the World Bank, assessing the losses from the pandemic, cites sensational data: Russian schoolchildren during the coronavirus pandemic lost more than a third of the school year, which may lead to a decrease in their earnings when they become adults. This is stated in the report of the World Bank "COVID-19 and Human Capital".

It is no secret that the "remote control" did not have the most favorable effect on the condition of children this spring. According to a study by the National Medical Research Center for Children's Health of the Ministry of Health, the stress of the pandemic and living in self-isolation and distance learning affected the mental state of almost 84% of schoolchildren. Presumably, 42% had depressive states, almost the same number complained of asthenia.

So the risks of switching and not switching to distance learning are approximately equal. What exactly will outweigh - the incidence curve of the next few days will show.

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