Press Release

Protocols for Students Returning to Schools on 4th Jan 2022

02 January 2022

With the new academic calendar and schools opening on 4th January, 2022, the Ministries of Education and Health have developed COVID-19 protocols for students returning to educational institutions as outlined below.

PRESS STATEMENT

Lilongwe

Students in Day Institutions (Public and Private Primary, Secondary, Colleges and Universities)

Prior to reporting to Day Institutions, students that are feeling unwell should visit their nearest health facility for a health check. The health service provider will determine whether the student should be referred for a COVID-19 test or not. Students that test positive must isolate for 10 days at home before reporting to school.

During the course of the term if the student feels unwell he/she will be isolated and referred to the nearest health service provider who will determine whether the student should be referred for a COVID- 19 test or not. If the student tests positive, they will be required to isolate at home for 10 days.

Students in Boarding Institutions (Public and Private Primary, Secondary, Colleges and Universities)

Prior to reporting to Boarding Institutions, students that are feeling unwell should visit their nearest health facility for a health check. The health service provider shall determine whether the student should be referred for a COVID-19 test or not. Students that test positive will be required to isolate for 10 days at home before reporting to school.

When students arrive on the first day, they will be screened for symptoms of COVID- 19 (fever, cough, scratchy / sore throats, body pains, loss of taste and smell etc.) Students with symptoms of COVID

-19 will be referred to a health provider who shall determine whether to test them for COVID-19 or not.

If the student tests positive, he/she will be required to be isolated within the institution for 10 days before returning to class.

Students and Staff (Boarding and Day)

During the course of the term/semester, if a student or staff member feels unwell he/she will be isolated and referred to the nearest health service provider. At all times institutions are reminded to provide necessary psychosocial support to both students and members of staff.

All institutions are required to ensure that all students and staff adhere to all COVID-19 prevention protocols (physical distancing, mask wearing, sanitizing / hand washing, decontamination of frequently touched surfaces and vaccinations) and updated standard operating procedures. Students are required to provide their own masks.

Vaccinations

Pfizer vaccines are now available in health facilities for age groups 12-17 years. In keeping with the latest guidelines from Ministry of Health, parents are strongly encouraged to use this opportunity to have their children vaccinated. Students aged 18 years and above and members of staff are also encouraged to get vaccinated with the other available COVID-19 vaccines.

Members of staff and students are reminded that vaccines provide protection against developing severe disease, risk of hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19, and as such are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.

Below are contacts numbers to be used for further information and clarification:

Ministry of Education hotline 01789327

Ministry of Health toll free number 929

Chikondano C. Mussa                                   Dr. Charles Mwansambo

SECRETRAY FOR EDUCATION                 SECRETARY FOR HEALTH

Protocols for Students Returning to Schools on 4th Jan 2022

Adrian Chikumbe

Adrian Chikumbe

Spokesperson in the Ministry of Health
Spokesperson in the Ministry of Health

UN entities involved in this initiative

UNESCO
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA
United Nations Population Fund
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund
WFP
World Food Programme
WHO
World Health Organization

Goals we are supporting through this initiative