Schools to re-open on August 2

The education ministry has announced that public schools will re-open on August 2 after being closed this month following an outbreak of dengue fever.

Schools were temporarily closed on July 1 based on advice from a task force formed to control the spread of the mosquito-borne disease. But special classes continued for grade 10 students ahead of the O’ Level examinations in October.

Four people have died from dengue fever while more than 600 cases have been reported this year. A total of 775 cases were reported in 2014.

Two people died from dengue last year. A relatively severe outbreak of dengue in 2011 saw a record high 12 deaths.

Last month, the government launched nation-wide efforts to prevent mosquito breeding, including mosquito fogging in Malé and the atolls and clean-up programmes.


Schools closed over dengue outbreak

Following an outbreak of dengue fever, the government has closed schools until further notice. At least two people have died from dengue this week.

Speaking at a press conference of a high-level task force formed to control the spread of the mosquito-borne disease, education minister Dr Aishath Shiham said schools are being shut down temporarily to ensure the safety of students.

Special classes will be organised for grade 10 students to prepare for their O’ Level exams in October.

A pregnant 18-year-old woman died of dengue fever at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital on Friday night while a migrant worker died in Gaaf Alif Kooddoo last week.

A seven-month old infant who showed symptoms of dengue-fever died at Baa Atoll Eydhafushi today.

Meanwhile, some 1900 people sought treatment for a flu this week alone. The symptoms of the flu include diarrhea and vomiting.

A relatively severe outbreak of dengue in 2011 saw a record high 12 deaths.

Health minister Iruthisham Adam told the press today that the government’s efforts were geared towards preventing an outbreak of similar proportions.

Compared to the 2011 outbreak, the health minister said the spread of the disease this year has been “manageable” due to proactive preventive measures.

In addition to mosquito fogging in Malé and the atolls, Iruthisham said the government is launching a nationwide clean-up programme, and appealed for participation at the household and community levels.

Arrangements have been made to provide treatment for dengue fever at the government-run Dhamana Veshi urban primary health centre, the police ‘Noosandha’ clinic, and the Senahiya military clinic, she said.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has meanwhile launched a 24-hour ‘dengue hotline’ and urged the public to call or text 7548221 for information.

Housing minister Dr Mohamed Muiz said the ministry is scaling up its cleaning efforts to eliminate mosquito breeding sites from construction sites.

An additional tug boat will begin operations today to improve waste management services in the capital, he added.

Home minister Umar Naseer appealed for cooperation from councils, clubs and communities in islands with the government’s programmes.

Earlier this month, HPA issued an alert warning of the spread of dengue and viral fever across the country and advised precautionary measures to control mosquito breeding during the rainy season.

The agency advised the public to empty stagnant water from containers, throw trash into dustbins, and keep containers sealed to prevent water from accumulating.

The HPA also advised wearing clothes that hide the skin, using mosquito repellants, and keeping doors and windows closed during dawn and dusk.

The agency has stressed the importance of cleanliness and hygiene to prevent the spread of the disease and advised seeking medical assistance if a fever persists for more than three days.

Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.


CCHDC warns of dengue outbreak

The Centre for Community Health and Disease Control (CCHDC) has warned of a possible outbreak of dengue fever, reports Haveeru.

The warning follows the death of a one-year-old girl from Alif Dhaal Mahibadhoo who died while undergoing treatment at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’.

The centre noted that most cases were being reported from Alif Dhaal Atoll.

According to the centre, 2,640 cases were reported so far this year, including 12 fatalities, making 2011 the worst recorded year for fatalities due to the virus.

Ten people died in 2006 from the mosquito-borne virus.

A task force headed by Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Abdullah Nazeer, was appointed to handle an outbreak in July this year. The Ministry of Health did not assume control of the situation for a week after the outbreak began.

At the time, Dr Nazeer told Minivan News that the government faced two obstacles in its response to the outbreak.

“Number one is a lack of proper communication between the Health Ministry and local councils,” he said. “The second was that they did not have the capacity to resolve the issues.”


VIP room at IGMH to house dengue patients

A VIP room at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) intended for use by the President and his family has been given over to house dengue patients.

Earlier this week, 19 beds were set up at the hospital’s emergency lobby, which has since been used as a makeshift ward. In addition, the observation and physiotherapy areas are also being used to treat dengue patients.

President Mohamed Nasheed reportedly made the decision to use the VIP room today because the lobby area did not have a toilet for the patients.

MNBC One reports that the patients at the makeshift ward were now being transferred to the VIP room, which has enough space for 14 beds.

Meanwhile physiotherapy appointments at IGMH were cancelled yesterday while all non-emergency surgeries were suspended today.

While the seasonal dengue outbreak has claimed seven lives this year so far, including four children in 48 hours last week, the dengue control task force revealed yesterday that the number of cases reported has fallen in the past three days.

Some 18 cases were reported on the first day, followed by 16 the next day and 11 yesterday.

Haveeru reported that 35 patients have been admitted at IGMH among a total of 75 nationwide. Of the 35 patients at IGMH, four in serious condition had been placed under special care.

“These four cases did not have the risk of being fatal. But we have placed the patients under special care,” said Dr Ali Latheef, senior consultant at IGMH.