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UAE schools may have to close if Covid-19 cases increase: Ministry

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi
ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on August 28, 2020 | Last updated on August 28, 2020 at 06.27 am
ministry of education, MoE, covid-19, coronavirus

(alamy.com/ae)

Schools may have to suspend in-class lessons and resume full-time remote learning.

UAE schools will be shut temporarily or asked to operate at reduced capacity if the number of Covid-19 cases increase, the Ministry of Education (MoE) said.

Ahead of the school reopening on August 30 when some students will attend classes physically, the ministry issued a set of guidelines outlining contingency plans in the event of spiralling of Covid-19 cases.

The ministry said schools will suspend in-class lessons and return to full-time remote learning if students and staff are found to be at risk.

Schools have to immediately isolate students or staff suspected of having the virus, especially if they show symptoms such as fever (37.5C), cough, body pain or fatigue among other symptoms.

The guardian must be notified immediately and the student referred to hospital. The ministry said the infected student will be prevented from entering the educational facility and the relevant authorities must be notified about the case through official channels.

The student shall resort to remote learning until a negative Covid-19 result is obtained, along with a medical report that he is free from other diseases.

The classroom and all annexes of the facility that the suspected Covid-19 patient reached will be closed temporarily until all sterilisation procedures are completed. The school must inform the parents of all students who were in contact with the infected pupil, and provide them with information on home quarantine procedures and distance learning plans.

Only medical staff wearing full personal protective equipment will be allowed at the educational facility to enter the isolation room where an infected student or staff was found. The educational facility will also carry out a tracing process to identify all those who got into contact with the suspected patient, including teachers and friends of the infected student, or anyone who spent more than 15 minutes with him or her at a distance of 1.5 metres, from the day the symptoms showed up.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

What to do if Covid-19 cases are identified at school campuses

- The guardian of the student suspected to be infected with the virus must be notified immediately to refer them to the hospital for treatment.

- The infected student will be prevented from entering the educational facility and the relevant authorities must be notified about the case through official channels.

- The student shall resort to remote learning until a negative Covid-19 result is obtained, and a medical report that he's free from other diseases.

- Only medical staff will be allowed at the educational facility to enter the isolation room where an infected student or staff was found and after wearing full personal protective equipment.

- The classroom and all annexes of the facility that the suspected Covid-19 patient reached will be closed temporarily until all sterilisation procedures are completed.

- The educational facility will carry out a tracing process to identify all those who got into contact with the suspected patient, including teachers and friends of the infected student, or (anyone who spent more than 15 minutes with him or her at a distance of 1.5 meters, from the day the symptoms showed up.

- The school must inform the parents of all students who were in contact with the infected pupil, and provide them with information on home quarantine procedures and distance learning plans. Sterilisation measures must be taken according to the classroom and building guidelines.

- A stay-at-home policy must be applied to students, teachers and administrative staff, or educational facility employees, who suffer from symptoms of Covid-19.

- All safety instructions must be followed by the medical staff during a Covid-19 emergency at the educational facility and must adhere to wearing all medical protective equipment when accompanying the person suspected of contracting Covid-19.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

author

Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.


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