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The Real Story of Coronavirus Covid 19 Direct from Schools. Joanne Wells, South View School, On the Record.

The Real Story of Coronavirus Covid 19 Direct from Schools. Joanne Wells, South View School, On the Record.

by Jon WestleyMarch 25, 2020
Background: The Real Story of Coronavirus Covid 19 Direct from Schools. We Speak with Joanne Wells, Principal, South View School, On the Record.

There is so much information in the press and social media that it is getting harder, and harder, for us all as parents to understand and distinguish truth from fiction.

We decided that the best way to cut through all this is to go to schools directly and get the real story on, and from, the front-line.

In this series of short videos, we talk to different schools to find out what is really happening, what is being done for children and parents – and the reality of what learning from home looks like.

Some of the questions we have asked include:

  • What are the challenges we are all going to face?
  • Are there benefits – can we find some positives in all this?
  • How are schools responding to your worries?
  • How does distance learning work in the best schools?
  • Will children be inspired by this kind of learning?
  • What do you as parents need to do?
  • Are schools really ready to completely change the way they teach children?

In this, our fifth exclusive video, speaks with Joanne Wells, Principal of South View School, on the record, to get the real story of Coronavirus Covid 19 – and how schools are putting children and families first. Please note that video quality in our reports is being impacted by the closure of schools across the UAE and geographical lockdown.

More on South View School can be found here.

If you have questions for schools we can ask in our future videos please email the Editor directly at [email protected].



Backgrounder – Key Facts Today at a Glance, What to Do if you Believe that You or Your Children are Infected or You are Locked Out of the UAE – and Why you Should Stay Home.

Help for Parents with Coronavirus Covid 19 with FAQ and status update

As of 3 March 2020, the World Health Organisation calculated 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 projected to be September 2021.

As of 09:00, 26 March 2020, 475,890 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in 87 countries and territories, including 21,367 deaths.

Infection rates vary in countries between 1% and 6% depending on multiple factors including the age of the population.

The current death rate from closed cased is 11%.

The UAE government has so far been successful in containing the virus to just 333 cases as of 25 March 2020. Currently, the most infected age group covers people in the UAE between 20 and 45 years of age.

As of 26 March 2020, there have been only two confirmed cases of Coronavirus Covid-19 in UAE schools, this a reflection of the swift containment measures imposed by the UAE government, KHDA and ADEK to protect children and families. There have been two confirmed deaths from the Coronavirus Covid 19 pandemic in the UAE to date.

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 diarrhoea) 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 first confirmed case of Coronavirus Covid 19 in a UAE school at the Indian High School, Senior Campus can be found here.
  • More on the cancellation of A’ Levels and GCSEs here.
  • More on the cancellation of the International Baccalaureate IB examinations here.

Coronavirus Covid-19 is invisible making protecting yourself difficult. The five actions parents and students can take to protect themselves and others is to:

  • (1) Wash your hands for a minimum of 25 seconds;
  • (2) Avoid physical or social proximity with others and maintain a minimum 2M distance at all times;
  • (3) Do not touch your face;
  • (4) Be kind;
  • (4) Stay home.

Medical specialist face masks are not advised for adults and are illegal for use by children because they restrict airflow and could result in respiratory failure if used over a long period. Paracetamol should be used in the case of suspected infection. Ibuprofen should not be used.

A dedicated hotline has been set up to advise worried schools and parents on 06-7017000 and email at [email protected] for issues that arise during the closure of schools and universities and the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak.

Over 620 school buildings have been completely sterilised to date, in addition to 6,000 school buses.

More than 168,000 students have been enrolled in a pilot Distance Learning programme in Abu Dhabi.

Symptoms of Coronavirus Covid-19 infection are:

  • (1) High temperature;
  • (2) Cough;
  • (3) Loss of taste and/or smell.

Some people show no symptoms but remain highly infectious and dangerous to others.

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

Banks welcome calls from parents who are struggling as a result of the UAE lockdown and are expected to respond compassionately.

For parents in Abu Dhabi facing a crisis in looking after their children during the closure of nursery schools an emergency hotline is available on: +971 58 5886570 or the toll-free number 80051115.

For parents in Dubai, the KHDA is providing comprehensive support for parents here.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has requested those holding valid UAE visas, and now locked out of the UAE, must do the following:

“Those who are now staying in their countries of origin have to contact the UAE diplomatic missions in their respective nations for all necessary support and to streamline their return back to the UAE.”

“Those who are currently outside the UAE for business considerations have to contact their employers here as well as Emirati diplomatic missions in their host countries for all necessary support to facilitate their return back to the UAE.”

“Those who are now on vacation have to contact UAE diplomatic missions in their respective host countries for all necessary support to facilitate their return back to the UAE.”

“The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) has urged the families and kins of those affected by the decision to get in touch with the ICA via the following contact numbers to get updated on all the measures they have to pursue: Fax: 025543883, Mobile: 0501066099, Landline 02 3128867- 02 3128865, Email: [email protected]

More on the real story of Coronavirus Covid 19 direct from Schools can be found on

This is a rapidly developing story. Decisions are subject to change. We will publish more information for parents live as we receive it.

If you have a ground-breaking story in UAE education, please mail the News Desk 24/7 at [email protected] 

© 2020. All rights reserved.

About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]

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