Graça Freitas’s position comes after the Portuguese Institute of Oncology (IPO) in Lisbon argues that, in most cases, children with cancer should continue to go to school, as they have no increased risk of contracting the new coronavirus.
The director-general of Health did not contradict the idea, stressing that it is necessary to differentiate the different stages of cancer: “A child with cancer is not necessarily the same as another child with cancer”.
The decision to go to school “depends on the child’s stage” and, therefore, on the assessment made by the team that follows him.
In cases where children are already in the recovery phase, they should go back to school, stressed Graça Freitas, during the press conference of the DGS to assess the covid-19 pandemic in Portugal.
“Each child will have to be evaluated by his / her attending physician and it is your doctor or your team who will decide. Each of these situations must be seen in particular ”, defended Graça Freitas.
In cases where children cannot return to school, mechanisms exist to minimize this impact.
For almost two years, there has been an ordinance that provides solutions so that these children do not lose contact with the class or be late in the subjects that are being given in the classroom.
Graça Freitas also stressed that “what is desirable is that they resume their full path in society”.
The director of the pediatric service of the IPO in Lisbon, Filomena Pereira, considered that there is currently no evidence to indicate that these children are more at risk of contracting covid-19 or of developing more severe forms of the disease, that is, “depending on the stage of treatment they are in ”.
According to the pediatrician, “seasonal flu can have much more severe clinical conditions in these children than covid-19”.
“These children, who are undergoing treatment or have completed treatment, are at increased risk of contracting an infectious disease, in case of chickenpox or measles and that is not why they stop going to school”, he exemplified.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Portugal has recorded 1,920 deaths and 69,200 cases of infection by covid-19, according to data updated today.
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