Society & Culture

Schools forced shut in Malé as parents keep children at home over flu outbreak

March 28 14:00 2017

All schools in capital city Malé have been shut once again after parents refused to send their children to school amid widespread panic over a flu outbreak that has claimed six lives.

Defence Minister Adam Shareef told reporters on Monday that all schools in Malé and some islands affected by the H1N1 strain of influenza will now re-open on Sunday, April 2.

He insisted the decision to resume school this week was based on the Health Protection Agency’s advice, despite a leaked document showing that an advisory committee on the flu outbreak, which includes health ministry and HPA officials, had in fact recommended that schools remain closed until April 2.

The education ministry first closed schools on March 14, three days before they were due to close for a week long midterm break.

The document dated March 21 triggered confusion and panic with parents taking to social media declaring that their children would not attend school.

In response to a storm of tweets asking for clarification, Dr Abdulla Niyaf, a doctor at the private ADK Hospital, tweeted a song titled “Please Don’t Go”, a post that was widely understood as a message telling parents to keep their children at home.

When schools resumed on Sunday, attendance was less than 20 percent, according to local media. Even less students reportedly turned up on Monday

Full details are available from the link below:

Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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