Head of Makassar City IDI, Dr Siswanto Wahab Sp. KK, through his official statement here on Tuesday, stated that preparations for conducting face-to-face learning should ideally not only rely on the teachers’ vaccination but also on the students’ vaccination.
"Who will take responsibility if children get infected with covid-19 or die from covid-19? Teachers and students should be vaccinated before face-to-face learning is conducted," he stressed.
If vaccination has not been conducted, then IDI Makassar does not approve face-to-face learning, either on a limited or unlimited basis.
The doctor affirmed that interactions at school could likely be causal to transmission among students, and the disease could also be spread from school-going children until they returned home.
"There are (some students), who take means of public transportation. When they arrive at school, interactions between students are bound to occur that could trigger transmission of the disease if the students have not been vaccinated," he pointed out.
All present in school, right from teachers to the students and the staff, face the same risk of contracting and transmitting covid-19. Hence, the IDI is optimistic that all those in schools would be vaccinated.
Furthermore, the spread of covid-19 in schools cannot be addressed solely by vaccination. Schools must also ensure that all residents remain disciplined in implementing the 5M health protocols of wearing masks, washing hands, maintaining distance, avoiding crowds, and limiting mobilization.
Moreover, parents should prepare supporting facilities for supporting children's health, such as masks, food and drinking water supplies, hand sanitizers, and also ascertain that their vehicles are sterile and free from COVID-19 transmission.
In fact, he noted that adults had often continued to violate health protocols to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Hence, he deemed it was still challenging for children to apply health protocols as they had a tendency to interact and play with their friends.
Hence, IDI Makassar has recommended that the government focus on controlling the transmission of COVID-19 by increasing testing and tracing to prevent and reduce the number of COVID-19 sufferers, both those with symptoms and asymptomatic.
"Ideally, as many as 1,200-1,300 swab/PCR examinations are conducted per day in South Sulawesi apart from the tests conducted on COVID-19 patients," he remarked.
The doctor additionally drew attention to three key points to be taken into account for ensuring the child's future: the child's right to live, to be healthy, and to receive education.