Marcelo defends that schools should “close as soon as possible”

Despite pointing out devastating effects for students, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa argues that schools should close “as soon as possible”, he told the Observer today.

Manuel de Almeida / Lusa

The President of the Republic and re-running for the same office, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said this Thursday, January 21, to "Observer" that the decision to close schools “will be devastating for the school year”.

The Government's final decision will be presented today from 13 pm after the Council of Ministers meeting, but everything indicates that schools will be closed as early as Friday.

Despite pointing out devastating effects for students, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa agrees that the decision to be taken must be “close as soon as possible to understand and face the challenges” that the country currently faces. The President of the Republic classifies that this Government decision still has the objective of "keeping parents at home", while the children have to stay with the classes remotely.

Yesterday, January 20, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, revealed that there were new data to be analyzed in relation to the closure of teaching spaces. "There are new data that should be considered and this consideration can be done at all times," he said when asked about the possibility of closing schools.

Last Tuesday, January 19, Prime Minister António Costa was in the debate in Parliament, where admitted the possibility of schools closing if the British strain became prevalent. “If we know for the week, if we know tomorrow, if the day after tomorrow we know, if in 15 days we know, for example, that the English strain has become dominant in our country, we will probably have to close schools and then I will do what I have to do, which is to close schools, ”said António Costa in the debate.

On Thursday night, the President of the Republic said he agreed with the closure of schools and universities in Portugal as a measure to stop the pandemic that hit record cases and deaths on Wednesday.

“I already knew that this could happen [school closes]. I think it is a good solution, if that is the one adopted by the Council of Ministers, and apparently the [Health] minister announced it is a good solution ”, said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Wednesday night in an interview with Porto Channel.

“First, it is not easy to distinguish between cycles and to close A or B or C or D. Second, social dissemination is entering schools, the number of classes at home has increased very substantially in recent times and some of the tests that started to be made in schools point to the prudence of such measures ”, said the head of state.

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