UAE | Health

H1N1 rule for returning pupils

Abu Dhabi pupils who return from abroad on the eve of school reopening will have to stay at home for a week.

  • By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 23:04 August 23, 2009
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
  • It is part of a policy to prevent swine flu in schools. No child will be allowed to attend school just after coming back from abroad, says Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili.

Abu Dhabi: Pupils who return from a vacation abroad on the eve of school reopening will have to stay at home for a week before they can join as a measure to curb the spread of the H1N1 virus, said a senior official.

"It is part of a policy to prevent swine flu in schools. No child will be allowed to attend school just after coming back from abroad," Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Director General of Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), told Gulf News. The decision is applicable only to schools in Abu Dhabi.

For example, if a school is opening on August 30, and a child returns from vacation on August 26, he will have to stay at home for a week from the day of return.

In depth: Swine flu

Al Khaili was speaking to Gulf News in an exclusive interview at Al Afaq School in Abu Dhabi, on the sidelines of a welcoming session for new English speaking teachers.

He said the policy for swine flu prevention in schools, formulated by the Health Authority, Abu Dhabi, was endorsed by ADEC. Asked about ensuring the pupils' mandatory one-week stay at home, he replied that school managements would be responsible for implementing this decision. "We will send the official communiqué soon to the schools and other authorities in this regard," Al Khaili said.

Asked whether teachers, administrative staff and pupils would be screened at schools (to detect swine flu) when they return to schools after the vacation, he said the council was working out measures as part of the policy which would be announced later.

The National Supervisory Committee for Combating Swine Flu welcomed the ADEC's decision on pupils' mandatory home stay after the vacation.

- With inputs from Abdulla Rasheed, Abu Dhabi Editor

Have your say
Do you feel more secure with this initiative in place? What precautions do you know of that could reduce the spread of the H1N1 flu? Tell us at readers@gulfnews.com or fill in the comments form below.



Your comments


I think the schools should start after Eid holidays because of swine flu.
From A Reader
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 17:28

One week classes are nothing than the children's life. Applause to the authorities taking this decision, I wish all the emirates should act.
Ram
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 17:23

This is a very good move.I personally feel this should be implemented by schools in all the emirates.
Muhjis
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 15:30

the best way is to open after EID and It is good idea to have a screening done for teachers and students,as it is very easy for the flu to spread the most in schools among children...
Nasser
Liwa,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 15:21

We do regard the initiatives taken by authorities to combat different threats, but this time, it's a matter of children's health and safety. We do have concerns over breakout of this flu. Kids of kindergarten who don't even know about swine flu, what are the precautions for them?Especially when it's high time for people to return from their home countries, what is the procedure to monitor if the children really stay back home for a week? As mentioned "school managements would be responsible for implementing this decision", it's more likely to shift the responsibility to schools. What about teachers and other staff? I think we need to do more in this regard, because school is one place where thousands of children interact and chances of outbreak is higher than any other place. Face masks should be mandatory in schools as well as there must be dedicated teams available in every school to perform tests and provide awareness to children and staff.
Shakeel Khan
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 15:16

It is very good to know that the government of Abu Dhabi is taking such measures!And i strongly feel that the government of Dubai should also do something like this! But I suggest that all the schools reopen after Eid holidays!!!!!
Sidra
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 15:11

It will be good if the opening day for the school is on September 6th. So that outstation children (should be back by 30th Aug)get a weeks time to adjust to the new environs.
Dali
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 15:02

Authority should make it mandatory for all student to obtain H1N1 free certificate before joining the school, it would be much better.
Javed Akhtar
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 14:59

People who are on vacation might not be aware of this rule. Also, if they came to knwo about this new rule, they cannot book the ticket for a day before one week of School opening day.
Shameer
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 14:36

We have some examples like schools in Pune. And kids are more likely to get infected with such viruses. So its advisable to extend by 1week which is more than enough to understand the symptoms if any. And to inform those parents who are on vacation, media would be the fastest way to pass on the information. But ministry has to start passing on this information at the earliest than waiting till 30th of August because some parents tend to call up the schools to confirm the same as all are worried world wide.
Sheena
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 14:08

I request to ADEC, if they issue the order to all school in uae which are reopening on 30 August 2009 extend the 10 days holiday and start the education for all pupils on same time. Thanks ADEC
Ronald
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 14:06

This is a very good decision, but I feel schools should be reopened only after Eid holidays.
Michell D Souza
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 13:50

Ten effective prevention tips 1)Wash your hands frequently. 2)Get enough sleep.3)Inform authoriy.4)Isolate the patient in a seperate room. 5)Keep hydrated by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water. 6)Eat whole grains,colorful vegetables,and vitamin rich fruits. 7)Avoid alcohol. 8)Keep away from sick people. 9)Avoid crowded areas. 10)Consult doctor if you have cough,cold, fever etc. (avoid taking over the counter medicines)
Surendran.P.V
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 13:47

It is better to open all schools after one week from the normal schedule. It could reduce the spread of such viruse.
Mathew
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 13:29

this is a better and good decision, and same rule can follow by the other Emirates in UAE.
Zafarz
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 13:28

This is a good idea, but how would the schools know when has the student returned from vacations and if we are giving the passports to the children I think it would be quite risky let them take it to school on their own as we all know the passport is a very important document. Moreover the returning students would also miss classes if they join a week later than the student who came back home earlier. I think it would be better if the schools were reopened a week later
Muaz Ahmad
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 13:21

The decision of the authorities are right, as there are chances of spreading H1N1 in schools, as a preautionary step why dont they extend the holidays of schools atleast for a week?
George
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 13:03

Sharjah and Dubai also have to follow the same to prevent Swine Flu in Schools.
Sindu
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 13:03

I most welcome this initiative. As a parent, I am extremely worried about my child of her returning to school after the summer vacation. The fear still persists within me as to what will happen to her when she goes to school, whether she will be infected with this virus?
Shabanu
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 13:02

This is a nice policy recommended by the senior officials, apart from this school must appoint a panel of doctors to examine the child before entering to the class room even staff also. Abroad travel students should submit the report to the school for the travel period with the complete details, if from the beginnig school clinics take care of childerns is a better way to control.
SANJAY PAWAR
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 13:02

It would be better if all schools open only after Eid, or all schools start after a week instead of 30th August or 6th September, both ways all children will be safe.
Naeem
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 13:02

The possibility of transmission of Swine flue from schools are very high. The suggestion of not sending the kids for a week from arrival will not be practical at the time of school re opening. I suggest that all the school should reopen after Eid holidays. By this time most of the children will be in UAE. After Eid, suthorities can instruct school to produce the passport copy with arrival stamp.
A.R. Ramesh
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 12:44

The most important thing is that parents do not send their children to school if they have any symptoms, even if there is a normal fever or flu. But the working parents will always try to send their ward to school rather than staying at home alone even if they had minor symptoms, this is the most dangerous thing.
Sameer
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 12:41

Congratulations to Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili who announced this kind of a positive initiative! This should be made mandatory for all Emirates and ensure that each pupil who traveled abroad comes to school with a medical certificate which should be a gate pass right at the entrance of school bus on first day. Though some of us wish to sideline this issue as an exaggeration by media, its high time to understand that its a fast spreading deadly disease, which can be averted with the right preventive actions that would literally save lives of our little ones.
Suneesh
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 12:39

This is a good decision and it will surely help from not spreading the disease
Gosh Chandy George
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 12:37

Its better that it becomes compulsory for each student and teacher to have the test done either in school or elsewhere, and each individual should have a test report done before schools re-open. This means that that re-opening date of all schools has to be pushed further for all and not only for the ones who return from vacation.
Ria
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 12:33

This is a good decision taken by ADEC, to contain the flu. However the rule should apply to everyobne involved in school - students, teaching staff and non-teaching staff. It isn't only children, who can spread the virus. The best thing to do is to make it compulsory for schools to start functioning only on Sept. 7th. Good job, ADEC. Looking forward to more sensible decisions for our children.
Deborah Stephen
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 12:31

Check each and everybody in school and their original passport also
Sajan
Al Ain,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 12:25

From the media it is very clear to me that the Government is doing their best. As usual some of the issues are out of hands for everybody. So leave this part to God and i am confident there will be no problem in this Ramadan month for us in this beautiful country, pray for that.
Suresh Chandralayam
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 12:21

I understand the action however, I do not feel that this helps to initiate this exactly 1 week before most schools start. This means we have 0 time to react and change travel plans. I have no choice but leave my kids some days out of school because of last minute information.
Ulrich Kiebler
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 12:19

This is a good thing as prevention is better than cure, however i suggest that the education ministry should instruct the schools to reopen only after a week of the earlier scheduled opening date so that children who come in on the last day of vacation dont miss classes.
Dathathri
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 11:52

How about Face Masks ?
Sergei Kuk
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 11:46

I agree that this should be done in UAE schools as a preventive action against H1N1 swine Flu.As the condition is adverse in many countries and pupil and even teachers of school coming from vacation needs to be screened.
Kavita Nagarkoti
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 11:28

Perhaps Ministry could have delayed the reopening of schools, since it will be hard to distinguish the students, as when they have returned from their respective country from vacation. The current news published in todays gulf news might not reach to all the students and parents for action. Rather its advisable to postponed the reopening of school for safety and precaution.
Marufa Syed
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 11:26

Congratulations to Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili who announced this kind of a positive initiative! This should be made mandatory for all emirates and ensure that each pupil who traveled abroad comes to school with a medical certificate which should be a gate pass right at the entrance of school bus on first day. Though some of us wish to sideline this issue as an exaggeration, it's high time to understand that it's a fast spreading deadly disease, which can be averted with the right preventive actions that would literally save lives of our little ones.
Suneesh
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 11:26

very good decession, each student submitted to school with arrival date copy of passport. This rule for all of us.
Sunny Sarghese
Fujairah,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 11:09

I welcome the initiative action to control the transmission of H1N1 virus to others especially for school childrens coming from their native places.
Malaichamy
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 11:07

most of the pupils back from home town will be end of the month, how they can say that pupils stay at home one week. they should give circular to schools should re-open after one week from 30th.
Shaji Abbas
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 11:01

A better way to prevent would be if the government instructs all schools to open after EID.
Mahrouf
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 11:00

While this is no doubt a very sensible decision, I feel that the since a majority of students would be back by school reopening day, the school reopening should be extended by 7 or 10 days. But this announcement should be made only on the last day of the vacation, otherwise people may extend their vacation and come back only after the 7 days extension.
Shiva Prasad
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 10:52

It is very important for the authorities to keep the schools closed for at least two months so the infected kids are identified and undergone treatments before they rejoin school. Otherwise it will become a chaos! Dont restart schools till at least OCTOBER. Monitor the virus carefully and endorse home-schooling for 2 months.
George Lopez
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 10:51

I am a mother of two children and was feeling worried about sending them to school on 30th August when the school re-opens. This directive is appropriate and will help in reducing the spread of the flu. But is this rule applicable only in Abu Dhabi or is it for all the emirates? Children having fever, cough or cold must not be sent to school by parents. Children will not understand the seriousness of the situation. It is we parents who need to take necessary precautions. Many parents will send their children even if they have a cold/cough as they would be worried about their ward missing classes/lessons. To avoid this, schools could start on revisions as soon as the school re-opens and wait for most of the students to start attending before resuming the exams and further lessons. Alternatively schools could put up daily studies taken on the website for students to access from their homes. Small precautions taken will go a long way in controlling the spread of the flu. As we all know "Prevention is better than cure".
Naina Nair
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 10:43

Its a good decision to avoid further consequences of spreading H1N1. One suggestion, better keep all schools closed for 1 week after the scheduled date of reopening the schools.
Supriya Haval
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 10:37

A week stay at home is a good decision and it will be effective way to prevent H1N1. No student or Teacher should be allowed to school before 7 days after air journey.
William
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 10:32

This is a fantastic initiative taken by the Abu Dhabi Goverment. Good job keep it up. I wish they do the same with schools in Dubai.
Savi
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 10:25

This is a very good step, Students set to return to classrooms, schools throughout the UAE should adopt this new health safety measures for potential outbreaks of swine flu. Two nurses could be on the premises for the first few days of school to keep an eye out for any signs of illness among the children. the close quarters of classrooms and kids' sometimes sloppy habits can be fertile ground for incubating viruses. if everybody thinks of their lives as well of others we can control this in a easy manner. money business, entertainment, studies and carreer everything can be achieved in this life, except our precious life.
Abdullah
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 10:24

It is a very good decision but i am not sure wether the schools will be able to implement such a rule...
Fatima
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 10:17

At the eve of the reopening day (which is 30th Aug for many schools) one week holiday should be declared for schools so that all the late comers will be forced to sit at home.
Mahesh Nair
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 10:14

I just hope that the schools will really follow up on this by checking the arrival stamps on the childrens' passports. I have two kids of my own, and they have been here for almost a month after their vacation, and I will be more than happy to submit their passports as proof that they have been here for a month.
Yasser
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 09:55

Its a good moove by the Authorities. Prevention is better than cure. we appreciate the mind behind it.
Sathyanath
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 09:51

Yes, Definitely a great idea!!! There needs to be more awareness with the situation of the Swine Flu Pandemic. My children will begin school on August 30 and I am very worried of them catching the virus - I just wish there was some kind of disinfectant that could be blown into the air that these children breathe to stop the spread of this devastating virus!!! Schools, teachers/staff need to be more aware of the Swine Flu Virus and take precautionary measures to help prevent its spread amongst these students!
Safa Qadumi
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 09:45

Very good decision at this present situation to prevent the spread of H1N1 Virus
Lali Cherian
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 09:43

This is a very good step, the Childrens should be safe and most of the parents are worried at the moment on sending childrens to school.
Abdullah Kunhi Bellippady
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 09:37

It is a very good idea to have a screening done for teachers and students,as it is very easy for the flu to spread the most in schools among children
Priya
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 09:33

mandatory home stay is not only compulsory for the pupils but also for the teachers also. i want to know how the school authorities can understand whether the pupil is on vacation? This one can understand only through the original passort only. Whether the school authorities will ask the student to bring the passport before their entry ino the class rooms?
Hameed Ali
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 09:28

It should be strictly implemented that the kids who all are returning back from the holiday should stay home for a week. School must look at the passport copy of the student before take entrance to the class.
Biju Bhaskar
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 09:25

Schools should just reopen after EID. Having students in and out of school in this manner will affect their concentration and their mood when they gear up for a new semester. I know its important to curb this epidemic, but at the cost of a student's academics is just messing with the psychology.
Mashaal
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 09:24

Indeed, it is an apt move. This, together with H1N1 test on feverish children could prevent spreading of H1N1 virus. Hope this will be extend to other emirates as well
Boby Antony
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 09:21

We urge all parents who return from their home town very recently to follow ADEC advice and not to send their childrens to school to prevent swine flu. There is no need of fear since UAE has advanced medical facilities to take care.
Vijay
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 09:17

This indeed is a good decision. I can see that parents in Dubai are worried about the school re-opening especially when majority of children return from abroad. The 1week stay at home once they return will help a lot to prevent the spread of such such sickness.
Sabeena
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 09:14

I think it is absolutely necessary to keep the schools closed for atleast till the end of September. These kids sit, study, play and ride the bus together during school days. There are very high chances of H1N1 infections at school. There will be "some" unaware parents sending their infected kids to school. I strongly believe extreme precautionary measures should be taken! Home-schooling for a month or two isnt a bad idea!
Sheraz Khan
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 09:13

This is a very wise decision. I felt very comfortable after this decision because I was so worried about my child who will be going to school next week BUT, I hope schools will abide to this rule and follow strictly. Parents also have to be cooperative and not send their kids to school until they are sure that they are fine for the sake of the whole school community.
S. Hassan
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 09:01

I concur with the decision. This way they can put some control on the spreading of H1N1. Pupils should be asked to furnish the entry evidence by showing passport entry dates.
H. B.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 08:56

better extend 1 more week to re-open the school simultaneously so that students wouldn't miss the class.
Josemon
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 08:48

The new H1N1 guidelines look good however how the ministry or the school authorities going to screen the date of arrival is not explained yet. Also, how they will know if a teacher him/herself is already infected with H1N1 and still attending schools? ADEC has to make it clear for all.
Benin
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 08:46

This is a very good move from ADEC. Not only Swine flu, but people returning from tropical countries are likely to carry contagious viruses.
V. V.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 08:37

This ADEC decision is welcomed by the parents for precaution of H1N1 flu for their pupils. It is better if this decision issued minimum 10 days before from school reopening then parent can arrange the pupils to return minimum one week early the school reopening and then pupils did not effect their education in the school. But now most pupils will be affected one week. I request to ADEC, if they issue the order to all school which are reopening on 30 August 2009 extend the one week holiday and start the education for all pupils on same time. Thanks ADEC
Jamal
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 08:31

The proposed rule is correct. This will really help spreading the Swine Flu. I understand, this should be done in all the Emirates, but with a change, schools should extend re-opening by one week, which will not hamper the children studies.
Jerry
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 08:25

Yes, It is good step to control the disease in spreading. I suggest all Emirates should take such similar steps to avoid the swine flu spread.
Joji Prasanth
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 08:20

This is a good decision. But, I want to ask, what about the pupils who didn't went back home during vacations. Will they be allowed to attend the school immediately after vacations.
Faran Khurshid
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 08:19

It is a nice idea. Most of the students are coming just previous days of the school opening day. In this case, the school authorities have to stop them at the entrance itself and the bus staff has to instruct not to allow them to enter the school bus. This decision will, help not to spread swine flu to some extent.
Abdul Salam
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 08:13

This is very good decision, make this decision to apply all U.A.E Schools. many parents are sending their children to school without checking their health condition.
Satish
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 08:08

This is a very good and an important decision to safeguard children being affected of SWINE FLU. If its possible too to screen the student before joining school, would be much better.
Shaukat Ali
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 24, 2009, 03:29

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