Health Minister: Face masks should be mandatory for primary school pupils

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Romanian Health Minister Nelu Tataru said that the primary school pupils should wear face masks while in schools as a mandatory rule, as social distancing among the little ones cannot be observed.

The one-metre social distancing is relative among primary school graders, then we should come up with mandatory face masks. Schoolyards are usually overcrowded on breaks, so the mask must come up as a rule in the kids’ playing and those who are preparing the school opening must take this into account. It is a rule that we should maintain,” the minister told Realitatea Plus TV show.

He added there are three scenarios for the school start which will be enforced depending on each locality, county and the school’s particularities.

“We’d like a face to face education. We cannot, as we are in the second scenario, when the primary school (0-4 grades), the 8th and 12th graders will have to attend physical classes. The other grades will come to school once every two weeks and will also have online classes”, the minister explained.

In his turn, the chief of COVID ward at the Timisoara County Hospital, doctor Virgil Musta considers that schools can be re-opened if actions to protect pupils and teachers are taken. Musta told Digi24 that only the children with other medical conditions and those whose parents have diseases and risk developing a serious form of the infection must take online courses.

On the other hand, Musta thinks that wearing masks cannot be imposed as a rule at school.

“It is difficult and I don’t think we can make children wear masks, for they won’t, we only delude ourselves. But, when there are common activities, where social distancing cannot be observed they will have to wear masks, both pupils and teachers, for several minutes”, the doctor pointed out.

He also recommended the classrooms should be ventilated for the virus has a lower spread in ventilated rooms.

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