Egypt strives to rise agricultural productivity    Egypt Knauf launches its first training centre in Egypt    Gold prices in Egypt on May 17    Egypt purchases 1.75m tons of local wheat    Egypt-first to have new climate targets ahead of UN summit    Egypt uncovers official logo for COP27    Ukrainian people say goodbye to Leonid Kravchuk – first elected president    Noura Al-Mutair – first Gulf female boxer in World Championships    Egypt unveils 50 pound coin minted to mark Avenue of Sphinxes grand reopening    Canada's Robert Oliphant starts Egypt, Morocco visit today    Liverpool fans: "You'll Never Walk Alone" to Cristiano Ronaldo    Hot, rainy weather hits Egypt this week    COVID-19 in Egypt: infections fall to 124 cases last week    Realme announces Global Photography Contest 2022    Egypt to play key role in integrating water, climate issues globally – World Bank official    Egypt's telecoms regulator announces working hours for holy month of Ramadan    Maha karara joins AAIB as Head of Corporate Communications, Sustainability    Egypt works on charting cooperation strategies with international institutions for 5 years: Al-Mashat    Over 2.4 million newborns examined for hearing impairment: Health Ministry    Netflix releases trailer of Arab adaption of 'Perfect Strangers' film    Balqees to headline concert celebrating launch of streaming giant LIVENow in MENA    Sawsan Badr to be honoured at Aswan Women Film Festival    MP Abdel Hady Al-Qasby calls government to facilitate and support NGOs    Al-Sisi follows up on 'Great Transfiguration Project' in St. Catherine    Cairo, London stress need to strengthen cooperation to face climate change    Foreigners account for 22.6% of Egypt's T-bills issuances in 1H 2021: CBE    Egypt's ambassador to Italy passes away    Egypt confirms readiness to help African countries face terrorism and extremism    An estimated 235 million people needed humanitarian assistance and protection in 2021, an increase of 40% compared to 2020: IOM Egypt    Egypt, DRC discuss water cooperation during WYF    Egypt, DR Congo discuss boosting bilateral cooperation during WYF    Cameroonian police probe assault on three Algerian journalists covering AFCON    Pharaohs start AFCON 2021 campaign with fierce clash against Nigeria    Foreign Ministry opens capacity building course for French-speaking African diplomats    Egypt's trade with Nile basin countries climbs 26% y-o-y in 9 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



No sick leave for schools
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 27 - 08 - 2009

Reem Leila reports on measures to halt the spread of swine flu in schools
Despite the growing number of swine flu cases and official warnings that the virus may return in a more aggressive form in the autumn, a month ahead of the beginning of the school year on 26 September the Ministry of Health has announced that there are no plans to close schools to halt the disease. Health Ministry spokesman Abdel-Rahman Shahin insists that closing schools remains a last resort. "Shutting them down does not mean that the disease will be contained. Children will go out and play, or otherwise interact, with other children in their neighbourhood," he said.
The Ministry of Health does, however, have plans to distribute four million litres of disinfectants to 35,000 schools.
"School administrators must ensure that bathrooms, classrooms, laboratories and all surfaces which students might touch are clean," says Shahin. In addition, students are being asked to wash their hands with soap and water every two hours. "Parents should also provide each of their children with a clean cloth with which to wipe both their desks and chairs. We also recommend that they be provided with wet wipes and hand gel during school hours. Students should also refrain from unnecessary contact with surfaces such as floors, walls and handrails," says Shahin.
A joint committee comprising senior officials from both the health and education ministries has been charged with following up on the situation and making recommendations as, and when, they are necessary.
The Ministry of Health has already printed thousands of leaflets to be distributed among pupils during the first week of the school year. Awareness campaigns informing students and teachers of the importance of preventative hygiene are also planned.
"Schools will be required to report any suspected cases of swine flu to both the ministries of education and health," says Shahin.
Students suspected of carrying the virus will be moved to an empty room until a doctor arrives to examine them. Only those with severe symptoms will be admitted to hospital. Pupils with mild symptoms will be treated at home.
"Parents and teachers will both receive instructions on how to deal with a sick child," says Shahin.
The ministry will monitor the situation in schools via the 63 video conference sites it maintains with school principals, says Reda Abu Serie, deputy minister of education and member of the joint committee. "The sites will be used to train headmasters, teachers and parents on how to deal with a sick child and will include regular updates on the spread of the H1N1 virus among students."
In addition, says Abu Serie, trustees will be informed immediately of any confirmed infections in their schools. The move is intended to halt the spread of rumours.
Pupils who test positive for swine flu will be quarantined, as will anyone who has been in close contact with them. The quarantine period, in either hospital or home depending on individual circumstances, has been set at 15 days. "This is double the incubation period of the virus and is intended to guarantee full recovery," says Shahin.
Students will be requested to continue studying on their own during quarantine in order not to fall behind in their schoolwork. "Should several classes in a single school have to be closed then pupils certainly will be provided with additional classes in order to catch up," says Abu Serie.
Any last resort closure orders will be issued by health and education officials.
Confirmed infections of swine flu have reached an average of 90 cases per week. The Cabinet Information Decision Support Centre (IDSC) reports that of existing cases 76.6 per cent of patients have made a full recovery.
Schools may be opening as usual, but the Ministry of Health continues to urge the public to avoid large gatherings during Ramadan. Many people are expected to avoid the taraweeh prayer and even the mawaed Al-Rahman which offer free Iftar to the poor.
"We are not insisting on any extra measures during Ramadan," says Shahin. "We are certainly not going to prevent people from going to mosques and praying. All we ask is that the public behaves responsibly. If they have flu-like symptoms they should minimise their contact with others and be tested," says Shahin.


Clic here to read the story from its source.