Society & Culture

Schools reopen after flu outbreak

April 04 08:00 2017

Schools in the capital reopened on Sunday after a health alert issued in response to a seasonal outbreak of the flu and viral fever was cancelled last week.

After reopening last week, the government was forced to close all schools in Malé and some islands affected by the H1N1 strain of influenza after most parents kept their children at home.

Attendance was as low as 10 to 20 percent in some schools.

With parents sceptical of the authorities’ claim that the outbreak was under control as the H1N1 death toll rose to six, the Health Protection Agency assured in a statement on Thursday that the public health situation is now back to normal.

The heightened public health emergency alert level that prompted the formation of a task force and increased surveillance and testing has been cancelled, the HPA said.

“Since the spread of the flu has gotten better, we would like to inform parents that it is safe to send your children to school,” the statement read.

Schools were first closed on March 11, three days before a week-long midterm break, after the H1N1 “swine flu” virus was found to be spreading rapidly.

The education ministry decided to open schools after the week-long holiday. But a leaked document showing that an advisory committee had recommended keeping schools closed until April 2 triggered confusion and panic with parents taking to social media declaring that their children would be kept home.

 

Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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