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Shutting schools is no solution,says Vikhe-Patil

Following a visit to the three schools shut after students tested positive for H1N1...

Written by Express News Service | Pune |
July 26, 2009 12:37:42 am

Following a visit to the three schools shut after students tested positive for H1N1,education minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil on Saturday said no school will be allowed to close on its own in case of any swine flu,as it won’t serve any purpose.

If any student has swine flu,the school concerned has to first consult a coordination committee comprising officials of the PMC,education and health departments,before taking a call. The committee is chaired by PMC additional commissioner Umakant Dangat.

However,the schools that are closed would continue to remain so till the announced reopening dates.

The PMC will also set up a 24-hour helpline and a control room to answer queries regarding swine flu. It will start functioning Sunday onwards from Naidu Hospital,said Vikhe-Patil. Along with PMC health officials,the minister visited Abhinav,Seva Sadan and Symbiosis schools that had been shut.

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Talking to the heads of these schools,Vikhe- Patil said there was no need to close down schools. “Henceforth,if a case (of H1N1) is found in any school,the coordination committee will decide the course of action. The school on its own should not announce a closure,” he said. When the heads of the schools told him that they were forced to close due to pressure from parents,he said there was a need for “sensitising parents.”

Vikhe-Patil,in a meeting attended by parents and teachers at Balbharati,told parents that there was no need to panic. “Swine flu is curable and there are medicines available with PMC. One should,however,take care that it doesn’t spread,” he said. Mayor Rajlaxmi Bhosale,MLA Chandrakant Chhajed,municipal commissioner Mahesh Zagade and health officer R R Pardeshi,who were present,also told parents not to panic.

The minister said PMC would conduct a survey of areas where the cases had been reported. “The affected may have come in contact with other children.

The PMC health officials will enquire whether any children in these areas are ill and take action accordingly,” he said. He told parents not to worry about students losing out on their attendance if they do not attend classes because of swine flu symptoms.

“Students should not worry about attendance,” he said.

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