Swine flu closes 5 classes in greater Cairo

Five classes in Cairo and Helwan will be closed for 15 days due to new swine flu cases. Cairo Deputy Education Minister Abdel Fattah Gado confirmed these closures, with four classes in Cairo and one class in Helwan closed due to the flu.

The detected cases in Cairo include a second-year boy from the Saint Fatima School in Nasr City, a first-year boy from the Sadat Experimental School, a third-year girl from the Kolleyat el-Banat School in Zamalek and a secondary school boy from the Ibn Khaldoun School, said Gado.

The schools have been sanitized with chlorine and other cleaning agents to decontaminate surfaces and samples are currently being taken from the patients’ families and from people who came in contact with the patients.

In Helwan, a class at the Modern Egypt 2000 School has been shutdown for 15 days after three cases of swine flu were discovered. The three patients were admitted to the Abbasiya Fever Hospital, said Ashraf el-Sharqawi, deputy chief of the Central Authority of Helwan Governorate.

Another case was discovered at the Egyptian Language School, although the school had been closed since last Wednesday after two cases were discovered, said el-Sharqawi, pointing out that the governorate was reconsidering whether to close schools when cases appear.

False information regarding an infected girl at the Narmer Secondary School led to the closing of the school in Giza, even though the girl had graduated from the school four years ago and is now in college. The school’s headmistress said the announcement interrupted the school’s work and caused unwarranted fear among parents.

In response, the Doqqi Department of Education criticized the Ministry of Health for not double checking the girl’s information, which put the school’s education program in jeopardy.

The current rate of infection is reassuring, said Youssri el-Gamal, minister of education. The number of infections rose to 88 cases on Saturday morning, 43 of them girls and 45 of them boys. Forty-six of the patients have recovered and 25 of them continue to receive treatment at home, he added. In response, 18 classes have reopened and the situation is stable, with the academic year continuing normally according to the time frame set for the year.

In preparation for swine flu cases in schools, Minister of Social Solidarity Ali el-Moselhi previously issued orders calling for a greater state of preparedness at social service institutions in order to counter the spread of the flu. Institutions were required to install quarantine rooms and reduce room density by adding reception rooms. Twelve clinics have been established for examination and diagnostic purposes, and quarantine rooms have also been set up at institutions for the mentally challenged and the visually impaired. Masks, sanitizers and first-aid kits have also been supplied, said el-Moselhi.

Meanwhile, the Hurghada Health Quarantine Authorities quarantined three patients for swine flu. A Russian tourist tested positive for the flu, and two other suspected cases have been quarantined at the Chest Hospital in Beheira.

In Qena, Magdi Ayoub, governor of Qena, decided to close a class at the el-Barahma Primary School in the Qaft region for 15 days after a case was found.

In Assiut, physicians and nurses have failed to follow up with several schools, with not a single physician or nurse visiting the schools since the beginning of the academic year.

In Sharqiya, preventative measures have generally been neglected in the schools, leading teachers to advise students to not to come to school. According to a number of students and parents, there have been mass absences at the governorate schools

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