An employee of a Hyderabad based company DSM Shared Services tested positive for Corona virus (Covid-19) on March 4, 2020; he had quarantined himself effective February 28.
DSM is located at Raheja Mindspace tech park in the heart of Hyderabad’s IT corridor and nearly 22 people have been experiencing symptoms similar to that when infected with the virus. As a safety measure, the offices in Raheja Mindspace have been evacuated and employees have been notified to work from home.
However, most employees at Raheja Mindspace are parents of children attending schools and daycares in the vicinity. Both parents and school managements are concerned about the health of the children and are awaiting a directive from the government to keep schools and daycares shut as a precautionary measure.
“Following the Corona Virus unrest, we have requested the principal secretary, Department of Education, Telangana to issue an order to shut schools and daycares until further notice,” says Kausar Sayeed, secretary of Telangana Parent Association.
The Early Childhood Association of India, headed by Dr Swati Popat Vats has circulated the following advisory recommendations for safety against the lethal corona virus to schools, daycares, anganwadis, creches across the country:
- Avoid taking children on field trips to crowded and public places. If possible cancel or postpone the trip.
- If your school has organised an annual event, it is best to postpone it. If that’s not possible then ensure anyone having cough, cold or fever is asked to rest it out.
- If any child or staff has cough, cold or fever then it is best they are asked to rest and not attend school/daycare
- This is more important in the case of the caretaker staff or the ayah who come in close contact with children.
- In case of mild cough and cold ask the person to wear the mask at all times and avoid contact with children.
- Teach children to always cover the mouth with a tissue and never with their hand while sneezing or coughing. If tissues are not available then wash hands immediately.
- Avoid hugging or touching children in school/daycare until absolutely neccessary.
- Ensure children and staff wash their hands with soap or hand wash regularly. Teach them the correct method to wash hands.
- Ask parents of children to inform you if they have recently travelled outside the country.
- Sanitise all surfaces, doorknobs, railings that are frequently touched with with disinfectant every two hours.
- Ensure air conditioners are properly serviced
- Avoid serving uncooked food to children as part of celebration or event
- Conduct a puppet show to teach children about the above as they would understand and implement
- Parents should be sensitised through a circular so they can safeguard the health of their children asking them not to panic but practice precautionary actions.