In-person education may be restricted depending on viral trends in Turkey


“It’s difficult with these numbers,” said Prof Yeşim Taşova, commenting on the resumption of face-to-face classes as Turkey strives to reopen schools for all levels.

Although daily coronavirus cases sometimes decline, the pandemic persists and continues to pose a deadly threat.

Taşova, a member of the Turkish Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, which shapes all government policies to fight the epidemic, said the board is considering further restrictions for in-person teaching – except classes for students kindergarten and first grade.

On September 21, the country’s first in-person classes were launched for them in what will be a critical test for authorities in light of the ongoing pandemic.

The country plans to gradually ensure a return to school for millions of students in the coming weeks, depending on the course of progress.

Strict measures to prevent new infections are expected to allow a new reopening after schools have been closed since March. Fearing a serious gap in education, Turkey decided to join other countries for a reopening that was originally scheduled for August 31. However, an increased workload forced a postponement until September 21.

The reopening week saw kindergarten and first graders arrive for just one day and two days of class thereafter. Meanwhile, the number of students in each class has been reduced with separate class hours for students. Each class is only 30 minutes long, with 10 minute breaks in between. All older classes are continuing online courses.

Education has been a major casualty of the pandemic, with experts repeatedly calling for conditions to allow in-person classes to resume.

Although Turkey has managed to run a relatively successful online education program since the last school year, many say students should interact more with their teachers and classmates to ensure better learning. The Department of Education spent months working on various plans on how best to reopen schools safely.

Taşova told the İhlas News Agency (IHA) on Wednesday that many countries have opted for online education in the first semester of the school year because “everyone wants to know what they can do with it. wait for the future “.

She says their current criteria were based on the “speed” of the outbreak and the ability of people to comply with the measures.

“It is proportional to age. The younger the person, the less negligent they will be in terms of following the rules. Certainly, the disease is less serious for young people and children, but they still represent a risk for the members. older family, ”he added. she said.

Turkey has recorded 1,467 new cases of coronavirus and 68 deaths in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

The total number of cases reached 317,272, with 278,504 total recoveries, according to ministry data. With the 68 new deaths, the death toll from the virus has reached 8,130. A total of 114,940 additional coronavirus tests have been performed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to more than 10.2 million. The figures also showed that the number of critically ill patients remained at 1,583 with 6.5% suffering from pneumonia.

Taşova says they need to “discuss again” the possibility of face-to-face classes for all based on current trends. “I think some restrictions will be inevitable,” she added.

Meanwhile, Taşova said university students would adapt better to the measures and could safely start face-to-face classes earlier.

Based on pandemic trends, Turkey is considering a ‘hybrid’ education model, with live online and in-person lessons on different days and flexible school hours.

School closures have been common around the world throughout the outbreak, but the United Nations has warned of “a generational catastrophe” as a result.

The danger of eating out

Turkey rolled out its normalization process in June, reopening various businesses, such as restaurants and cafes, under “new normal rules” aimed at preventing further infections.

Still, Professor Tevfik Özlü, a member of the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, warns people should always be careful against the “dangerous” practice of dining out.

“It is not safe to eat at the same table. Everyone should only sit on one table and keep as far as possible from others,” Özlü told Demirören news agency on Wednesday. (DHA), adding that the Turkish tradition of hosting lavish dinners at home or mass dinners in restaurants would provide “an opportunity” for the virus to spread.

“Of course, you can’t wear masks while eating. You are basically unprotected. Keeping a distance while sharing a table is almost impossible. Even if you don’t eat or drink and just chat, it is It’s always a risk because of the droplets that can come out of your mouth or out of the mouth of the person in front of you, ”he says.

Özlü urged the public to choose to eat only meals at home and said if they wanted to have dinner parties, these should not be held at the same table as others.

“When eating out, you are only safe if you are assured of measurements on the spot. Check whether the waiters cover their mouths properly. Also check the kitchen staff. Any drop in their mouth will make meals unsafe.” , he warned.

New restrictions

Turkish authorities yesterday introduced new restrictions that expanded the code’s use to track COVID-19 patients. People will now be required to show their HES code when traveling on downtown public transport or when staying in hotels and other accommodation establishments across the country under the new set of restrictions .

The HES code, abbreviation of the Hayat Eve Sığar (Life Fits Into Home) application developed by the Ministry of Health, is a unique code that can be downloaded via an eponymous application. It certifies the health of the user, whether or not the person has the coronavirus. The code is already mandatory for intercity trips.

The code will be incorporated into electronic passes used in public transport, from the metro to buses. Electronic passes for COVID-19 patients will remain suspended during the period of home isolation. The move is meant to discourage quarantine breakers, which are commonplace in some cities.

Hotels will also be prohibited from accepting guests who are unable to show their HES code. Hotels and other accommodation establishments accepting these clients will be closed for 10 days.


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