Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 September 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Ban on high-fives among Covid checklist for all Dubai parents

Dubai Health Authority said all items taken to school should be disinfected thoroughly once back at home

Pupils must disinfect books, smart devices and lunch boxes every day at school, Dubai's government has said.

A ban on high-fives, sharing food and spreading rumours about Covid-19 are also some of the measures in place to protect youngsters from contagion.

Dubai Health Authority has reissued guidance to parents, children and teachers as numbers of new cases soared two weeks after pupils went back to school following a six-month break.

Dr Hend Al Awadhi, head of health promotion and education at the DHA, said children needed to be reminded of the threats to public health.

Parents should put in place a daily sanitisation routine with cloth masks washed daily

Dr Hend Al Awadhi, Dubai Health Authority

"While school-going kids have settled into the new normal, it is important to speak with children regularly so parents can notice if a child has settled in well or is experiencing any uneasiness or anxiety," she said.

"Parents should put in place a daily sanitisation routine with cloth masks washed daily.

"If the mask has a filter, it should be removed and reinserted after the mask is dry.

"The filter should be changed every ten days."

Everyday equipment such as schools books, smart devices, lunch boxes and bags must be sanitised every day, and masks must be worn at all times once pupils have left home.

Children were told to clean pens, glasses and headphones with a 60 per cent alcohol solution to guard against the virus while sitting together with groups of friends is also now banned.

Pupils arriving at the school gates are encouraged not to make physical contact with friends and avoid the classroom altogether if experiencing any signs of the virus such as fever, cough or loss of taste or smell.

Daily coronavirus cases climbed past 1,000 on Saturday to hit levels not recorded since May.

That figure was pegged back to 640 on Sunday, with positive results taken from 84,642 tests. No further deaths were reported.

Classrooms opened to face-to-face teaching for thousands of pupils on August 30.

Many children across the UAE have not been in school since March.

Dr Al Awadhi said parents had a duty to educate youngsters on the importance of hygiene and physical distancing outside of the home.

"Parents must educate children into following safety instructions to protect their health and the health of their family members," she said.

"This will also keep their fellow school friends, teachers and staff at the school healthy," said Dr Al Awadhi.

"Physical distancing is one of the most basic elements in protecting children, their classmates and their family.

"All house members, including house help, should ensure they adhere to all precautionary measures at all times."

Dos

  • Greet others without any contact
  • Wash or sanitise your hands frequently
  • Wear your mask the entire time you are at school. Put cloth masks in a pouch when you eat your snack or lunch. If you use a disposable mask, dispose of it correctly and use a new one after eating your food
  • Maintain physical distancing
  • Bring your own food from home
  • Stay home if you have any respiratory symptoms
  • Clean and disinfect your desk

Don’ts

  • Handshakes and high-fives
  • Share food with others
  • Share your mask with others
  • Sit with a big group of friends
  • Touch your eyes, nose or mouth with dirty hands
  • Throw your mask in undesignated places
  • Exchange books and stationary
  • Spread rumours about Covid-19

The personal items most susceptible to contamination are:

  • School bag
  • Lunch box
  • Headphones
  • Pen and notebook
  • Smart devices
  • Glasses
  • Children’s toys

Updated: September 14, 2020 05:27 PM

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