Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - The Yogyakarta Health Service is using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) swab tests to screen students and teachers participating in limited face-to-face learning (PTM) in schools in the city.

“We are not using rapid antigen tests, but PCR. It has been started since November 22 (2021)," the head of the Yogyakarta Health Service, Emma Rahmi Aryani, said here on Wednesday.

Screening activities for students and teachers involved in offline learning will be carried out in stages.

The screening target in elementary to junior high schools has been set at 10 percent of students, or a minimum of 30 students, and three teachers from each school, Aryani informed.

Meanwhile, the head of the Yogyakarta Education, Youth, and Sport Service, Budi Ashrori, said that he had provided information to schools regarding the COVID-19 screening plan.

"We hope there will be no case of transmission in schools, especially from face-to-face learning activities," Ashrori added.

He then asked all schools to regularly monitor the health of students and teachers during face-to-face learning.

"So far, we have held PTM for almost two months with no findings of COVID-19 cases in schools. Students and teachers have all been healthy. Hopefully, there would be no transmission at school," he said.

Meanwhile, the head of the Yogyakarta COVID-19 Handling Task Force, Heroe Poerwadi, said screening activities for students and teachers in schools are a part of strengthening the testing program in Yogyakarta where COVID-19 cases have continued to decline.

"We want to make sure the sloping cases of COVID-19 in Yogyakarta is because of the decline in virus transmission. That is why we still need to carry out testing and tracing, including in schools with limited PTM," Poerwadi emphasized.

He said he hopes that there will be no findings of new cases from the COVID-19 screening for students and teachers.

"If there is a positive case found during testing, we hope the virus will not spread to others. During this time, exposure to close contacts was very low. Ninety-five percent of close contacts showed negative test results,” he added.

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Translator: Eka Arifa R, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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