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Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram.

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Ministry of Health officials are carded to meet with the Ministry of Education today to discuss the issue of the reopening schools, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram said yesterday.

“We’re having a discussion with the ministry – that’s the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education called by the Honourable Minister on Thursday morning to discuss what is going to happen with the school situation,” Parasram said during yesterday’s virtual COVID-19 press conference.He, however, did not go into any further details to avoid preempting the discussion. Schools were closed one day after the first case was reported on March 13, 2020, by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. Virtual classes, which began in September, continue to fill the void left by physical classes.Epidemiology Division Technical Director Dr Avery Hinds again noted that cases for 2021 were on an upward trajectory.

“The new cases per day are inching upwards. If you look at the number of new cases per week, you’d see that in the last three completed calendar or epidemiologic weeks, we’d have had a steady increase from 58 cases in the last week of 2020 to 82 cases in the first week of 2021 and 126 in this last completed week,” Hinds said.

He reiterated that it is a concerning development and urged the public to avoid any sort of gatherings or congregations.

The rise in cases comes as no surprise to ministry officials, as they anticipated it following the Christmas and New Year’s festivities. Parasram even noted previously that they expect to witness the full impact of these celebrations on the virus’ spread by the end of January. It’s also why the current form of the Public Health Regulations was extended for a second time earlier this week.

“The maintenance of the status quo is based on what has happened over the Christmas season and what we saw by way of public health measures not being adhered to. The numbers, as Dr Hinds has said, continues to rise so, expectantly, we won’t be able to relax anything at this point at least,” Parasram said.