Watch: Teachers who visited coronavirus affected countries ordered to stay at home

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Maltese teachers seem to be concerned about the coronavirus (COVID-2019) according to Education Minister Owen Bonnici. In a press release issued later, the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) issued a warning to all teachers and students who recently visited any of the affected countries to not show up at school.

Later, the Education Ministry released an announcement addressed to all teachers, whether they’re employed by the state, the church or an independent school, to avoid going to work for two weeks if they have visited a country affected by coronavirus.

What did Minister Owen Bonnici say?

Bonnici told Newsbook.com.mt that the necessary precautions are being taken following recommendations by the Health Authorities. While he mentioned that an announcement was circulated to all teachers with regards to COVID-19, he reiterated that Malta has no registered cases of the virus yet.

Bonnici said that Malta is currently in containment stage in order to prevent the virus from infiltrating the country. He explained that it’s not only the teachers that are concerned. He explained that his Ministry is working hand in hand with the Health Ministry on the matter.

Milan’s Mayor is going to propose that all schools in the city are closed. So far, the European State which was affected the most by the virus is Italy. It registered a total of 152 cases so far.

Two persons arriving in Malta from Bergamo yesterday appeared to have a fever. They are being kept for more observation.

Dr Martin Balzan, Medical Association of Malta President, told Newsbook.com.mt that the Association is encouraging authorities to act as there’s a daily flight from Bergamo to Malta.

In a press release, the Government has announced the expansion of surveillance to more countries. Everyone who shows fevers symptoms, develops a cough or experiences shortness of breath in the two weeks following their travels are asked to visit their family doctor or call the Health Authorities on 21324086. The countries are:

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Japan
  • Iran
  • South Korea
  • North Italy – Lombardia, Piedmont, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna

What did MUT say?

The Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) expressed its concerns on the current situation with the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry for Education. The Union said that due to the lack of direction in this situation, it has the right to issue instructions for educators on what to do when schools start again on Thursday.

MUT is asking for:

  • Students and educators that visited the countries in question are quarantined and marked as excused
  • Sick students do not submit their homework; teachers should not accept any such homework
  • No functions such as assemblies and masses in enclosed spaces
  • Schools are to be provided with sanitizers, alcohol rubs, soaps and other clean water products
  • Sick students are to be sent home and only admitted back to school based on a doctor’s certificate that shows that they’re not contagious
  • The schools are to be cleaned with the right products