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Schools, universities close as Maldives issues alert level 3 for swine flu

Fathmath Shaahunaz
14 March 2017, MVT 12:10
School children pictured seated in a hall: schools and universities have been closed over the spread of swine flu in Maldives. PHOTO/EDUCATION MINISTRY
Fathmath Shaahunaz
14 March 2017, MVT 12:10

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has issued an alert level 3 for the spreading epidemic of swine flu across the archipelago, while the government has closed all schools and universities.

Speaking at a press conference held late Monday by the authorities to impart updates on the current condition, Ministry of Education’s official Fathimath Azra announced that all schools will be closed for three days under the counsel of Ministry of Health.

Noting that the following week is the mid-term break of all schools, she said authorities will discuss with HPA on reopening schools after the break.

Meanwhile, all colleges and universities in the Maldives have been closed for a period of one week.

ADK Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer and paediatrician Dr Abdulla Niyaf said that the decision was taken to curb the increasing spread of the H1N1 virus.

According to HPA’s statistics on Monday night, 27 people have tested positive for the H1N1 virus. The agency also disclosed that a man aged 24 who passed away on March 4 had also tested positive.

Symptoms of swine flu are similar to a common cold or flu with coughing, fever, runny nose, blocked nose, aches in the throat, body or head, shivering and fatigue.

Some steps to control spread of swine flu

Cover the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing

Wash hands with soap

Stay away from places where people gather; do not allow children to go to such places

In case of fever and blocked or runny nose, drink lots of liquids. Seek immediate medical attention if condition lasts longer than three days.

With the recent outbreak of colds and flu in the Maldives, flu clinics have been established in hospitals for easy consultations and tests.

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