Parents divided over Covid testing for students - RTHK
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Parents divided over Covid testing for students

2020-09-18 HKT 19:00
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  • The DAB is calling on the government to provide free coronavirus testing for school staff. Photo: RTHK
    The DAB is calling on the government to provide free coronavirus testing for school staff. Photo: RTHK
Horace Cheung talks to RTHK's Joanne Wong
Many parents said they are worried about possible coronavirus outbreaks in schools when they resume next week, but they're divided over whether their children should get tested.

That's according to a survey of more than 1,300 parents this week by the city's largest pro-Beijing party. The DAB study found that nearly three-quarters of them expressed fears about another Covid-19 outbreak.

Nearly 90 percent of the respondents said school staff should be tested for Covid-19 before the partial resumption of classes on Wednesday. They said testing frontline workers is a priority in preventing the spread of the virus.

The party called on the government to provide free coronavirus testing for school staff and boost regular testing capabilities.

DAB vice chairman and lawmaker Horace Cheung told RTHK's Joanne Wong that the party is also in favour of testing students for coronavirus – if the government has the resources – but that some parents felt that wasn't necessary because their children have mostly stayed at home in the past few months.

Cheung made it clear the government should do more to allay parents' concerns before classes resume.

The DAB also said the Education Bureau should issue detailed guidelines for schools on how to respond to Covid cases involving their students.

Concern about a possible school outbreak grew after it emerged that one of the recently-confirmed Covid-19 cases was a 10-year-old girl who was among a group of students allowed to go back to their primary school in Tuen Mun ahead of the resumption of face-to-face classes.

The principal said he wanted to shut down the school for two weeks, but was told by the Education Bureau to press ahead with reopening because no one was considered a close contact.