Source: ArabianBusiness.com 8 September 2009
Nurseries in Dubai, but not Abu Dhabi, will be closed as a precaution against the spread of H1N1.
UAE officials have closed all Dubai nurseries and deferred teaching at special needs centres to prevent the spread of swine flu, as the virus claims a further two lives.
A 75-year-old man and an eight month-old baby, both UAE nationals, were the latest victims of H1N1, the Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday.
Their deaths bring the total number of people killed by the virus to six.
The baby suffered heart disease and had received treatment in US, while the elderly man suffered from shortness of breath and chronic diseases, the official news agency WAM reported.Dr Hanif Hassan, the Minister of Health, urged people not to panic. “The situation is under control; do not panic. I think the country made all the right efforts to prepare for the virus at the beginning,” he told the National.
“The point is [the virus] is here; it is wherever you go in the world. So we must remember that it does not need to be dangerous if it is found and treated early. The death rate is very low.”Dr Ali bin Shakar, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and chairman of the National Committee to Combat Swine Flu, told the paper:
“We have already ordered enough vaccine to cover between 10 and 15 per cent of the population in line with recommendations from the World Health Organisation. We will also implement it following the recommendations.”Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Affairs ordered the closure of nurseries in a bid to prevent further swine flu cases, a move that will be troublesome for many working parents who rely on childcare services.The ministry said it took the decision as a precaution, in line with guidance from the World Health Organisation. Teaching at special needs centres will also be delayed. Marian Mohammed Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of Social Affairs, told WAM the policy was to protect young children and vulnerable adults from the potentially lethal virus.Education officials in Abu Dhabi announced a swine flu action plan for all schools in the emirate on Tuesday. Schools will not close under the plan, but step-by-step instructions on what action to take should a pupil or member of staff be infected have been issued.
In Kuwait, the Education Ministry has postponed classes of kindergarten children and children with special needs for two months.Education Assistant Undersecretary for Private Education, Fahad Al-Ghais, said the decision was sent to the union of private schools, KUNA News Agency reported.