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2020-09-16 HKT 13:29
All the staff and 30 students of a Tuen Mun school are to be tested for coronavirus after a primary school pupil there was listed as one of the five locally infected Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, just days before face-to-face classes are to resume.
The government's move not to enforce a two-week closure of the school is also raising eyebrows, with one health expert saying the decision is questionable.
Principal Shum Yiu-kwong of FDBWA Chow Chin Yau School said he had suggested to the Education Bureau to shut down the school for two weeks as a precaution, but officials said there was no need for that.
Shum also said the Centre for Health Protection has decided that none of the other children or staff who had been on campus at the same time are close contacts, and thus don't need to get tested for the virus.
But he said the school is asking all staff to get tested, and around 30 students who may have had contact with the infected pupil to either get tested or quarantine themselves for two weeks before they're allowed back in school.
The President of the Medical Association, Choi Kin, said testing everyone who came into contact with the 10-year-old girl is a good idea.
He said the decision not to screen them is a questionable decision as the tests can be done easily and results obtained quickly.
From Wednesday, schools could allow up to one-sixth of their students to return for half-day activities before classes resume in phases from September 23.
Some pupils had been back in school even earlier than that, such as the 10-year-old pupil who was among a group with special needs. She was last at the school on Friday before she fell ill the next day and tested positive for coronavirus.
That prompted the school to cancel campus activities due to start on Wednesday for primary six students. The school said the campus was also being disinfected.
But face-to-face classes for primary one, five and six children are to resume next week as scheduled.
The school said about 30 students had returned to the campus each day before Wednesday, and the entire school has more than 600 students, so most of them were not in contact with the infected pupil.
Last updated: 2020-09-16 HKT 18:10