NEW DELHI: As India reported 29 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday issued an advisory to all schools asking them to avoid any large gathering of students in premises.
The ministry advised that any student or staff with travel history to any COVID-19 affected country or in contact with such persons in the last 28 days should be monitored and quarantined at home for 14 days.
Class teachers have been asked to remain alert of any possible signs and symptoms among students like coughing, fever or difficulty in breathing and immediately inform the parents to get them tested.
"Ask parents not to send child back to school till advised so by the treating doctor," the advisory said. It has also asked schools to place alcohol-based hand sanitiser at various spots and advised monitoring students staying in hostels.
The ministry also asked them to ensure availability of soap and water in restrooms at all times. It also urged for maintaining simple public health measures of hand and respiratory hygiene like washing hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water and using alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
"Everyone should cover their mouth with a tissue/handkerchief when they cough or sneeze and wash their hands afterwards. Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth. Everyone should throw away used tissues in a bin and wash their hands after contact with coughing or sneezing," said the advisory.
The advisory further stated frequently touched surfaces like door knobs, switches, desktops, hand railing should be disinfected.
It said that anybody having signs and symptoms (cough, fever, or difficulty in breathing) to contact the dedicated helpline numbers at 011-23978046 or visit public health facility with a mask or mouth covered.