Coronavirus fears as J'lm school fails to quarantine students after trip

Parents have said that students could possibly have been exposed and infected with the coronavirus in Italy, and have accused the school of not taking proper precautions.

Coronavirus (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
(photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
East Jerusalem parents of students at the Rosary Sisters School in the Old City have accused the school’s management of not taking proper precautions against the coronavirus after a group of 14 girls were not quarantined upon their return from a trip to northern Italy, Tazpit Press Service (TPS) reported.
The girls landed in Rome and traveled through Milan to Genoa for a Model UN conference.
Students might have been exposed and infected with the coronavirus in Italy, the parents said. They accused the school of threatening parents who have spoken up, with some alleging that the school has a history of doing so.
One of the parents, a mother who is a well-known blogger, said the nuns are ignoring the danger entirely, TPS reported.
“Rosary is known for its strict discipline, and in the name of discipline, the principal is risking the safety of all students,” she said. “The administration is threatening parents and students, and those who are staying home are expected to be punished. Parents are afraid to be exposed, and the Health Ministry is not in the picture.”
Because the children were never quarantined, even children who did not go on the trip are at risk of being infected, the parents say.
“The girls were examined by a nurse, but there is no value to such checkups, as the incubation period takes 14 days,” another parent told TPS. “The parents expect the administration to work to prevent the spread of the disease and not to treat the virus if it is discovered. This school is home to 600 students, and all are at risk.”
The school principal confirmed to the agency that she never reported the children to the Health Ministry, saying she did not have to.
Sister Lucy, the school’s director, told TPS the students did have any contact with their surroundings and were required to wear protective masks and use disinfectants.
The US surgeon-general and other professionals have said the masks are not an effective means of preventing people from catching the coronavirus. Rather, they are to make sure that those who show symptoms do not spread the disease to others.
Army Radio reported Sunday that 294 Israeli students are in home quarantine, including 28 preschoolers.
The coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, and has spread all over the world, infecting more than 87,000 people, including seven cases in Israel. A major outbreak in Italy has resulted in nearly 1,700 confirmed cases and 34 deaths.
In response, the Health Ministry has issued strict guidelines and advised all Israelis to avoid traveling overseas. In addition, it has banned foreign nationals from entering the country if they have visited Italy.