Panic as Indian High School Closes After First Suspected Case of Coronavirus Covid 19 in Dubai and UAE Schools Now Confirmed
Background – Indian High School enters Lock Down after First Suspected Case of Coronavirus Covid 19 in a UAE School Now Confirmed
The first suspected case of Coronavirus Covid 19 in a UAE school has been identified at The Indian High School Senior School Campus in Dubai.
The case has now been confirmed, with a 16-year old girl and her family now quarantined in hospital by the Dubai Health Authority.
It is confirmed that The Indian High School and its sister schools will now all close on Thursday 5th March 2020.
The outbreak is the first in any school in the UAE.
Parents have taken to social media in panic as rumours of the infection were first relayed. Whilst confirming the closures, the Indian High School remains unavailable for comment.
Students from the affected child’s class at the Indian High School had already been asked to remain away from the school today.
The announced closure has become the first test case for government and schools in managing the anticipated growth in infection rates across the UAE. Governments across the world are grappling with how best to manage the balance of public safety, economic disruption and minimising panic.
The KHDA, Dubai’s Inspectorate of Schools, has promised:
“If students’ safety is deemed to be at risk, we will protect them in every way we can […] We’re in this together – and we will get through this together.”
Dubai Health Authority is working closely with the KHDA.
Parents were told by the Indian High School:
“As a precautionary measure, IHS Group of schools is closed from Thursday, March 5.
Detailed circular about exams will be mailed.
Your well-being is important.
Full confirmation from the Dubai Health Authority was released 4 March 2020:
The case involve a student of the Senior School campus in Oud Metha. Her parents visited a Covid-19 affected country prior to her being identified. The parents developed symptoms five days after returning to Dubai.
As of 3 March 2020, the World Health Organisation calculates that the Coronavirus Covid-19 virus has an average 3.4% fatality rate making it 30 times more deadly than the flu virus. The flu virus kills between 290,000 and 650,000 people a year globally. The earliest estimation for global availability of a vaccine is September 2021.
The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reports that:
“There have been very few reports of the clinical outcomes for children with COVID-19 to date. Limited reports from China suggest that children with confirmed COVID-19 may present with mild symptoms and though severe complications (acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon. However, as with other respiratory illnesses, certain populations of children may be at increased risk of severe infection, such as children with underlying health conditions.
Limited reports of children with COVID-19 in China have described cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea) have been reported in at least one child with COVID-19.”
Positively, the World Heath Organisation states:
“We are [only] eight weeks into this Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak: yet we have identified the virus, we have the genetic sequence, PCR & serological assay in use. This wealth of knowledge is unprecedented for a new disease.”
Currently there is no cure.
- More on the UAE Government decision to close every school in the UAE to protect children can be found here.
- More on the UAE government decision to close all nursery schools can be found here.
- More on the UAE Government decision to ban school events can be found here.
- More on the Indian High School, Senior Campus can be found here.
A dedicated hotline has been set up to advise worried schools and parents on 06-7017000 and email at Sd@moe.gov.ae for issues that arise during the closure of schools and universities and the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak.
To report suspected cases of Coronavirus Covid-19, parents are asked to call:
- The Dubai Health Authority: 800 342
- The Ministry of Health and Prevention: 800 11111.
- The Department of Health Estijaba service: 800 1717
This is a rapidly developing story and we will publish more information for parents live as we receive it.
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