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education professionals fear for life



São Paulo – Municipal and state education professionals in São Paulo do not accept the proposal to return to the classes of the governments of João Doria and Bruno Covas, both from the PSDB. In a meeting held yesterday afternoon (20), the five unions that represent education workers in São Paulo presented a counter-proposal to the city hall, suggesting that the resumption of face-to-face activities will only be discussed in March, if the situation improves in February. The Union of Teachers of Official Education of the State of São Paulo (Apeoesp) will hold a demonstration tomorrow (22) in front of the Secretary of Education, against the proposal to resume face-to-face classes. Both groups do not rule out going on strike.

“Our position is contrary that, at that moment
acute health crisis, with increased contamination by covid-19, there are
resumption of face-to-face classes. This calendar presented by the Secretariat
Municipal Education, resuming with planning activities from
the 1st of February and the face-to-face classes starting on the 15th is very
hasty and requires extreme care. We cannot accept it ”, said the
president of the Union of Education Professionals in Municipal Education
(Sinpeem), Claudio Fonseca.

The unions fear for the health of the teachers, who would have to stay in rooms with little ventilation, with many personal contacts daily, using public transportation daily. The covid-19 pandemic in São Paulo has been worsening since November. The inaction of the Doria government, which did not increase the severity of the quarantine as soon as the situation began to worsen, led the state to break a record number of new cases in recent weeks. ICU occupancy reached 70% across the state, with some cities hitting 100% occupancy. Deaths have also grown, with a daily average of 236 deaths in the past few days.

The entities defend the revocation of the proposal to return to school in São Paulo on February 1, that the school break in July be brought forward to the period between February 1 and 12 and use the period from February 18 to March 3 for planning the resumption of activities, in person. They also claim that the city has not yet started to hire the education professionals needed to guarantee the resumption of activities, as promised. So, this time would also serve to adjust the professional staff.

In an interview with the magazine Grow up, the Municipal Secretary of Adjunct Education, Minéa Paschoaleto Fratelli, defended the return to school in São Paulo and said that as of January 26, the city government will raise which families intend to send the children to school. The rooms will work with up to 35% of the capacity. In elementary and high school, students will rotate. In daycare centers and preschools, a fixed group will attend every day and will be defined by criteria of social vulnerability.

According to Minéa, all teachers will receive masks and face shield and students will also receive a kit with mug and liquid soap. There will be alcohol in gel and liquid soap available in the environments. With babies, professionals will wear gloves.

Back to school on the state network

The fear of teachers is justified. Inspection report by the Municipal Court of Auditors (TCM) reveals that, in 2019, almost 26% of municipal schools did not have toilet paper in student bathrooms. Only 25% of school units had liquid soap and 30% had paper towels available for students to use.

For the president of Apeoesp and state deputy, Professor Bebel (PT), back to school in São Paulo is hasty and can have very serious consequences. “It makes no sense to confine teachers and students in closed and poorly ventilated environments, in places without the proper structure for the implementation of health protocols, such as schools,” he said.

She highlighted the diagnosis made by the Institute
of Architects of Brazil (IAB) and the Inter-Union Department of Statistics
and Socioeconomic Studies (Dieese), in August last year, which concluded that
82% of schools have no more than two toilets for student use; 13%
they have no court or gym; and 11% do not have a patio for outdoor activities.

Last week, the head professor of the Department of Pathology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo (USP), Paulo Saldiva, prepared an opinion, at the request of Apeoesp, in which he states that “in closed environments, such as classrooms , the transmission of covid-19 is facilitated by the low dispersion of the aerosol ”. “It is important to note that the role of transmission of covid-19 in closed environments was the subject of a publication signed by 239 researchers from around the world who thus concluded the analysis,” said Saldiva.

Butantan: We need to rethink

The director-president of the Butantan Institute, Dimas
Tadeu Covas, also considers that it is necessary to rethink back to school in São
Paulo. The main issue is that, although the data show that children and
adolescents are less susceptible to the disease and that studies show that they
also transmit the coronavirus less when resuming face-to-face activities
millions of people circulate again daily to guarantee this process:
parents, teachers, other professionals. In addition to expanding circulation on the streets
and in public transport.

“The problem with the school in the middle of a pandemic is not the school. This is what the school entails in terms of social mobility. The absence of classes at that time represents 15% of the population of the state of São Paulo who are at home. If they return to classes, these people will circulate again. Consequently they will cause the virus to circulate. This is an aspect that needs to be reconciled. School is important, the presence of students in the classroom, but we have to think. We are in a moment of confrontation with the virus that we need to reduce the social mobility of all segments.

Bebel also demanded that teachers be included
priority vaccination groups. “The government acts totally
contradictory. Considers the work of teachers as an activity
essential, but does not consider us essential in the vaccination plan. Before
thinking about reopening schools, the first step should be vaccinating
all education professionals in the first phase, together with the
health professionals, elderly and indigenous people ”.

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Argentina extends border closure with Brazil




Opera Mundi – Argentina decided on Sunday (28) to extend the deadline for closing air and land borders with Brazil until March 12, extending the previous decree that determined that they should reopen as of this Monday (1st) ).

Argentine health authorities considered it necessary to maintain the blockade at the borders and a 50% reduction in flights between the two countries.

The country is also closed to foreigners from other neighboring countries and the United Kingdom. Only Argentineans or residents can enter.

According to the Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, the measure is taken “in a preventive manner until knowledge about the new Brazilian variant of the virus deepens”.

Brazil has been experiencing the worst moment of the covid-19 pandemic in recent weeks. The moving average of deaths in the last seven days broke a new record and reached 1,180. With 50,840 new diagnoses registered in one day, the number of cases in the country is already over 10.5 million.

Vaccination in Argentina

While seeing its neighbor in the worst scenario of the pandemic, Argentina is advancing in vaccination against covid-19. There are already more than 903 thousand doses applied.

This week, the Argentine laboratory Richmond announced a partnership with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to start producing the Sputnik V vaccine nationwide.

On the night of last Friday (26), Argentina received 96 thousand doses of the Sinopharm vaccine against covid-19. According to the Minister of Health, these doses have already started to be distributed on Saturday.

* With Sputnik

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