Fighting coronavirus: Schools in Dubai sending back kids with cough, runny nose
'If any child has any symptom, they are not permitted to join the face-to-face classes'
Schools in Dubai remain upbeat about checking their students' health and pupils with runny noses and sniffles are being advised to stay at home, even being sent back from school gates.
As institutions across the city reopen with blended learning formats accompanying messages about the need to avoid complacency are being repeated.
"If any child has any symptom, they are not permitted to join the face-to-face classes. The school nurse and the wellness coordinator keep in touch with the parents and children to join back for classes once they are completely symptom-free. Until then, their learning continues by attending the classes from home," said Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO-Principal of Credence High School
All children who have opted for on-campus learning are being checked for any symptoms both at the point of pick up in case they use the school transport and at the point of entry at the school.
Zoe Woolley, Headmistress, Foremarke School Dubai said "the school's medical team carefully assesses any child displaying cough and cold symptoms". "Should there be any suspicion that a child is displaying Covid-19 symptoms; then we have to act to protect the whole of the school community."
Meanwhile, parents are advised to consult with their family doctor on the need for a Covid-19 test. "The school's medical team will then guide them through the next steps and the appropriate course of action," said Woolley.
Schools say that open communication with the parent community and maintaining a bubble model, have played a large role in keeping track of student health.
Parents are encouraged to check their child's temperature every morning before students leave home, said Sangita Chima, principal of Amity School - Dubai. "Student health is also being tracked throughout the school day; if students show signs of symptoms, they are moved to an isolation room, where a doctor will assess their health. Parents are advised to seek medical attention and visit a doctor for further treatment or if they require a PCR test."
Students are welcome to return to school once they have been assessed and are symptom-free. "We follow the process map for suspected Covid-19 cases among students and staff, as advised by the Dubai Health Authority," added Chima.
Flu season confuse parents
While children who are sick are typically encouraged to stay home anyway, many parents feel it's better to be overly cautious.
Sending back children from school if they are having runny noses is good, says Divisha Modi, whose son is in kindergarten. "The weather is changing so one needs to be careful. Children have a tendency to fall sick due to low immunity. Two of my friends recently had to pick up their kids early from school due to a runny nose. I feel parents must keep their children at home in case their wards have a cough or fever. "
Another parent Arijit Nandi, whose son is also a kindergartener, said: "I am a bit apprehensive as Covid-19 cases are rising again and it's also the flu season. It is confusing at times whether on-site or online should be the preferred model as not everybody will have the same level of alertness. I'll definitely get my son the normal flu shot this year."
Madhulika Chatterjee whose daughter is in senior school explains the school is giving multiple reminders to parents about the same.
"The school is giving repeated reminders to parents to not send the child to school in certain situations, whether its common flu or anything else. At the outset, one cannot gauge what is the reason for fever or cough. But being careless is not the call of the hour. One needs to be prudent and should think of the community at large."
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