Schools 'Not Taking Covid Seriously Enough'

A UAE government press conference was held this evening, the key message of which was to remind the public of their responsibilities with regard to the prevention of Covid-19. It was suggested that some schools are not taking the fight against Covid-19 seriously enough.
This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19
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This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19

On a day with the highest number of reported new cases in four months, the UAE Government reminded the public of their responsibilities in the fight against Covid-19.  The extra-ordinary announcements highlighted a number of areas where greater attention was needed, including the operation of schools.

It was noted that some schools, both public and private, had not been adhering to the guidelines set by the Ministry of Education.  Two issues in particular were mentioned with regard to schools; the importance of isolation in case of suspected Covid-19 and the two-week closure of schools if even one case of the virus was confirmed within the school community. 

This last measure appears to be at odds with previous guidance, which stated that schools would close if more than one case was found.  

For the first time, the UAE government has shared a breakdown of the statistics related to recent cases. The spokesperson stated that recent cases consisted of 12% persons travelling from abroad and 88% people not following social distancing especially at large weddings and gatherings.  Of these cases, 62% were said to be male and 38% female.  In total, 10% were associated with education, as a result of the recent testing drive for teachers and school staff.

The briefing also served to release the number of today's number of confirmed new cases. A total of 930 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus on Thursday, along with 586 recoveries. The new infections are said to be the highest number recorded in four months, detected after conducting additional 82,076 tests.

The ministry also reported five new deaths, taking the toll to 398.

Officials warned against the hosting of large gatherings; referring in particular to an Abu Dhabi wedding where one person had infected 45 others, in three families.  One elderly person died as a result. 

Further warnings were issued to returning travellers who were reminded of the importance of two weeks quarantine whether a test came back negative during that period or not.  The spokesperson said that this was due to the incubation period of the virus.  

Restaurants and malls were reminded of their responsibilities and warned of fines for non compliance. 

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