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Thursday, October 28, 2021

More than 80% of teachers, school staff vaccinated: official


An education ministry official says more than half of teachers and school staff have now been vaccinated.

More than 80% of teachers and administrative staff at all schools across Qatar have received the Covid-19 vaccine, a senior education ministry official said on Monday.

The latest figure comes as authorities ramp up efforts to vaccinate residents in the country, with particular focus on those working in the education sector, Mohamed Al-Bishri, adviser to the Minister of Education and Higher Education told Qatar TV.

Earlier this month, a surge in infections and reported violations at school and university campuses prompted the ministry to announce stricter measures for school employees, though this was met with concerns.

The measures stipulate no school employees will be allowed to enter school premises without showing the golden vaccination stamp on Ehteraz or providing a weekly negative Covid-19 test as of March 21.

Read also: School attendance lowered to 30% amid surge in cases

However, it also says employees who refrain from taking the vaccination for “unacceptable reasons” and later test positive or come into contact with a confirmed case will not be paid their salary for the entirety of the quarantine period.

In the interview, Al-Bishri assured the ministry does not oblige any school staff member to take the Covid-19 vaccine, but said those who opt to forgo the shot will be required to submit a negative Covid-19 PCR test on a weekly basis.

Last week, authorities made further changes to the school system, decreasing the number for in-school attendance from 50% to 30%.

Al-Bishri said the decision came in response to an increase in daily Covid-19 cases in Qatar and is intended to ensure protection of all students as well as teachers and other employees at schools. 

The official also urged parents to abide by precautionary and preventive measures when picking up or dropping off children outside school and called on parents to avoid sending students to school if mild symptoms emerge.

No decisions have yet been made regarding the schedule of the upcoming examinations, he said, though authorities are studying the issue and will announce a convenient solution soon.

According to the latest MoPH figures on Monday, 519 new positive infections were reported, bumping the number of current active cases to 13,192.

So far, 615,655 have been vaccinated in Qatar.

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