Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 25 October 2020

Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi and Dubai authorities launch Covid-19 school safety helplines

The dedicated services aim to offer reassurance to parents as the new school year gets under way

Authorities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have rolled out Covid-19 helplines to field queries from parents and staff as schools resume operations for the first time in nearly six months.

Schools across the Emirates welcomed pupils back to classrooms for the start of a new academic year on Sunday.

Children and teachers had concluded the previous term via distance learning after the coronavirus outbreak forced institutions to temporarily shut in March.

Strict safety measures are in place at schools, including the wearing of face masks for employees and all children aged six and over, regular temperature checks and physical distancing.

Dubai Health Authority said its dedicated 24-hour service - available by dialling 800 588 - will provide a wide range of information on the stringent protocols now in place at the emirate's private schools.

Abu Dhabi's Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) has also set up a parents' helpline - on 056 377 1833 - to answer any questions regarding the return to in-person lessons this week.

"The launch of this service reinforces the authority’s commitment to providing effective communication channels to the community, offering timely and accurate health information," a Dubai Health Authority statement said.

Last week, Dubai Health Authority organised a workshop for 400 medical and administrative staff to outline the standards which clinics based on school premises must meet.

The workshop reinforced the importance of adhering to safety protocols as tens of thousands of pupils and teachers get used to daily school life during a pandemic.

Dr Hend Al Awadhi, head of health promotion and education for DHA, said schools, parents and pupils themselves all have a key role to play in limiting the spread of the virus.

"In line with governmental guidelines, schools have adopted stringent precautionary measures to reduce the possibility of transmission of infection among pupils and to provide a safe and healthy educational environment," she said.

"Parents also play a pivotal role in helping maintain health and safety standards. Students and parents must adopt internationally recommended safety measures at school and after school as well.”

The dos and don'ts for pupils back in school

Dr Al Awadhi has put together a handy guide to keeping safe at school for returning learners.

Do

  • Greet others from afar
  • Wash or sanitise your hands frequently
  • Wear your mask the entire time you are at school
  • Maintain physical distancing
  • Bring your own food from home
  • Stay home if you have any respiratory symptom
  • Clean and disinfect your desk

Don’t

  • Handshake and no high-fives either
  • Share food with others
  • Share your mask with your classmates
  • 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 rumors about Covid-19

Updated: August 31, 2020 03:40 PM

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