'Social distancing not practiced in schools'

The Health Emergency Operation Centre's Technical Advisory Group (TAG) team member, Dr. Nazla Musthafa has said social distance is not properly practiced in schools.

Speaking on Raajje TV's 'Fala Suruhee' program on Monday, Dr. Nazla said although adults are vaccinated against COVID-19, not all children are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, COVID-19 cases are being identified from time to time in Male' City schools, Dr. Nazla said.

Delineating on the topic, Dr. Nazla said although children do not usually get severely ill with COVID-19, the most recent outbreak saw many children getting extremely ill. She further noted that around 10 children were treated in the Intensive Care Unit due to Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. Therefore, it is important to practice caution as the population is not fully vaccinated, the doctor said.

Dr. Nazla said although COVID-19 numbers in schools are low, flu are spreading rapidly in school settings. She said that many parents have said children are getting sick more frequently since schools reopened. Dr. Nazla said she does not believe social distancing is properly practiced in schools, and the fact that flu are spreading rapidly is evidence of this. Since flu are also respiratory illnesses, the fact that flu are spreading indicates that the precautionary measures are not practiced, the doctor further said.

Dr. Nazla advised against sending children with flu symptoms to school. She said that the only way to stop the spread of flu in schools is to keep ill children at home.

According to the Health Protection Agency, the number of people who sought treatment from hospitals last month for flu-related complaints increased dramatically compared to the past three years. HPA statistics show 11,348 people went to the doctor in August due to the flu.