UAE authorities have issued a strict list of dos and don’ts for schools across the country amidst the fight against the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, China and has infected 5 people in the UAE, as of February 4.
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP) in collaboration with the health ministries of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah has issued new guidelines for schools and universities to guard themselves against the novel coronavirus.
Educational institutions in the country have been declared as safe spaces by the government, but have been encouraged to exercise caution. Though the use of masks by students or faculty is not recommended under normal circumstances, the following guidelines have to be followed:
- A leave of absence - for a period of 14 days from the date of arrival - is a must for students and staff who have returned from China over the past 14 days.
- In case a student or staff member has a relative visiting from China, it is recommended to avoid close contact with those showing flu-like symptoms, and parents of children who are showing such symptoms are advised to keep them at home.
Educational institutions have been advised to do the follow these guidelines in order to limit transmission:
- Staff and students to clean hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
- Schools to ensure that hand sanitizer is available at all times.
- Instruct staff members and students to cover their mouths with a tissue or the inner elbow while coughing or sneezing.
In the event a student or staff member is a suspected case or shows flu-like symptoms in the educational institution, he/she must:
- Immediately be referred to the nurse for evaluation, who will then follow all directions as per the MoHaP circular.
- Be provided with a surgical mask until the case is transferred and necessary medical action is taken.
- Coordinate with the operations centre at the Department of Health Abu Dhabi (DOH) to determine the specified receiving hospital for the suspected case.
- Report the suspected case of 2019-nCoV through the Electronic reporting system for reporting infectious diseases.