Jakarta Can Reopen Schools If Covid-19 Positivity Rate Drops to 5%: Expert

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Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaEpidemiologist from the University of Indonesia, Tri Yunis Miko Wahyono, said that the Jakarta government's plan to conduct a trial reopening of schools is still prone to Covid-19 transmission.

    "The case positivity rate in Jakarta is still above 10 percent as of today. It is 11 percent now that means the virus transmission remains high," said Tri to Tempo on Thursday, April 1, 2021.

    As reported earlier, the Jakarta administration is set to resume face-to-face learning activities in 96 schools beginning April 7, 2021, claiming it will be done under strict health protocols.

    Despite the procedures, Tri is concerned that it has the potential for a spike in Covid-19 cases. He argued that it is safe to reopen schools if the case positivity rate is below 5 percent.

    "Don't force the school reopening if the positivity rate is still high. If they insist on it, wait until it drops to 7 percent but on conditions that all cases must be isolated without exception," he added.

    According to him, such government policies that do not consider the risks will require an even longer period to contain the pandemic. Besides, the government will face difficulties in enforcing students to comply with the predetermined health protocols at schools.

    The school reopening will extend the Covid-19 transmission chain. Students, teachers, up to their families are at risk of getting exposed to the virus. "The transmission can occur from home, on the way to school. Who will be responsible if the risk causes death due to being infected?" Tri concluded.

    IMAM HAMDI