Controversy in Catalonia after announcing that ESO students will do the PCR themselves

Updated: Thursday, November 5, 2020 6:42 PM

Published on: 05.11.2020 18:35

Students of ESO and post-compulsory education in Catalonia who have to undergo PCR before a case of coronavirus appears in their class will do the test themselves, guided by the teachers.

The general secretary of education, Núria Cuenca, explained on Wednesday that the objective is to “free” health resources so that they can deal with other areas most affected by the pandemic, such as health centers. health and residences.

Cuenca said that Education is preparing training that will be sent to teachers so that they can supervise students and stressed that “there is no biological risk” for them. He also argued that this will not put more pressure on schools and teachers.

Teachers oppose

However, the proposal met with rejection from teachers’ unions and concerns from parents. From the Union of Secondary Teachers (ASPEPC), they maintain that “teachers cannot be accused of a responsibility for which they have not been authorized”.

For its part, USTEC-STEs asks the Ministry to hire health professionals to perform the tests and asked the centers to refuse to do them, arguing that “neither the teachers nor the education personnel, neither the PAS staff, let alone the students, have the necessary health training to do an invasive test for these characteristics ”.

In addition, the trade union organization stresses that professionals “can incur serious civil liabilities, and probably criminal, in the event of a problem, both during the tests and in the management of the samples”.

Vergés argues that students ‘will be able’ to take the test themselves

Faced with the controversy, this Thursday the Minister of Health, Alba Vergés, asked for calm from the educational community and assured that the students “will be able” to take the test themselves.

Vergés, who specified that it was self-sampled nasal and not nasopharyngeal -so the procedure to follow is, with a swab, five seconds in each nostril-, defended having carried out a pilot test in institutes of Girona, that everything is “protocolized” and they will offer the necessary training to teachers.

Nurses ask to supervise testing

For its part, the Association of Family and Community Nurses of Catalonia (AIFiCC) “sees favorably” that the students do the PCR themselves, but asks that the nurses supervise them and not the teachers.

In a statement, the association asks the nurses of the Salut i Escola program to do so and considers that the responsibility for the proper execution of the self-grip technique “should not lie with the teachers”.

This Thursday, Catalan schools added 2,990 stable confined groups -4.15% of the total- and four schools closed due to epidemics. A total of 73,101 people from the educational community are in quarantine: 69,619 students, 3,321 teachers and internal staff and 161 external workers.

Catalonia today reported 5,024 new infections and 66 deaths from the pandemic. In the opinion of the former Secretary General of Health, José Martínez Olmos, the fact that this measure is proposed indicates that “there is an enormous pressure of work in the primary care centers”.

Asked about this at Al Rojo Vivo, he recommended that pharmacists perform tests on students.

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