Controversy as school requires fortnightly Covid tests on students

By Yen Khanh, Phuoc Tuan   February 8, 2022 | 11:37 pm PT
Controversy as school requires fortnightly Covid tests on students
The Pétrus Ky Secondary and Primary School in Binh Duong. Photo courtesy of the Pétrus Ky Secondary and Primary School
A primary-secondary school in southern Binh Duong Province has sparked controversy by forcing its students to be tested for Covid-19 every two weeks.

Pétrus Ky Secondary and Primary School in Thu Dau Mot City informed parents before the Tet holiday the school would perform quick Covid-19 tests on all its primary students, who have not been vaccinated against Covid, every two weeks starting Monday. The fees for testing, at least for February, would be VND45,000 ($1.98) per student, and covered by parents.

The school said the measure served coronavirus prevention as students return to class.

Many parents have voiced opposition to the move, saying it is unnecessary, costly and could affect the children’s mental health.

"I believe only students with symptoms and those who came from high-risk areas should be tested. Testing everyone would only induce stress," one parent said.

Tran Xuan Mai, headmistress of the school, said families might have taken their kids to multiple locations during the Tet holiday, so quick tests are needed to detect infections early, especially among those who have not been vaccinated.

Mai said most parents have agreed to the measure, and that only a small number questioned it.

"We will reconsider the quick testing requirement, and may only test a percentage of students, not all," she said.

The Binh Duong Department of Health said the province doesn’t necessitate Covid-19 tests for all students, but only on random people or those suspected to be infected.

According to the latest guidance by the Ministry of Health, only those who came from very high-risk areas or quarantined locations, and those suspected to be infected and coming from high-risk areas, are required to be tested.

All of Binh Duong is currently classified as a low-risk area. Students had already returned to school before the Tet holiday.

By Monday, only 122 students tested positive for Covid-19 in the province, said the municipal health department.

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