WHO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public
Updated: March 11th, 2020
We continue to monitor the situation of COVID-19 in Hyderabad, in India and globally. At the time of writing, there have been no new cases of the virus in Hyderabad and one confirmed from last week, with no evidence of community transmission in India. We remain at Level 2. However, the situation is developing significantly in other countries, so under the leadership of Mr. Bellew, our Director of Teaching and Learning, we are preparing for online continuous-learning in the event of closure.
We are now in daily contact with ICRISAT, the US Consulate, AAIE and our like international schools in India, allowing for ISH to make informed decisions as we implement increased measures for on-campus safety. We are also in contact with other schools in Hyderabad to ensure we are all speaking with ‘one voice’ to the Hyderabad community and following government requirements if needs be.
As our break is not until the end of April, we will leave any discussion of travel until later in the month or early April, depending on how the situation unfolds. Obviously, all ISH community members need to follow travel advisories New Information Regarding Travel Advisories.
What We Know:
· As of today, worldwide there have been 113,700+ confirmed cases and 4,012 deaths (including 872 outside of China). Source - WHO
· According to the Indian Press Information Bureau, as of March 9, there have been 44 total cases in India, one of which is in Hyderabad. All cases were travelers or had direct contact with travelers.
· There have been no deaths in India that are confirmed COVID-19 cases.
· There are now 52 laboratories identified by the Indian Council of Medical Research for testing of COVID-19. All airports now have health check stations and thermal screening. 941,717 international passengers from 8,827 flights have been screened (as on March 9).
· At the end of this message are added resources.
What Is ISH Doing?
· We continue to do regular deep cleaning of the school and the buses, using Dettol. Over the weekend, we serviced all ACs and the filters were cleaned. We fumigated all buildings, including the cafeteria and the buses.
· We are looking into a thermal screening at the main entrance. For now, we have 5 handheld, non-contact temperature guns, which we will be using for all visitors and will consider the needs for all students in the next few days.
· Any visitor on campus will have their temperature checked and will fill out a self-declaration health form.
· The US Consulate is keeping us up to date with information regarding health alerts, travel advisories, and any impending closures.
· We are reviewing all upcoming events and will make decisions on a case by case basis.
· As our swim season continues, ICRISAT is checking the PH levels and general hygiene of the pool every four hours.
As per our Prevention and Response Protocol, we continue to:
· Maintain accurate records of absences and the health status of our students and faculty.
· Provide local staff with information and training in English and Hindi about appropriate steps to prevent the spread of disease.
· Remind students and personnel to wash their hands regularly.
· Hand sanitizer is available at many locations on campus and wherever food is served.
· Frequently clean and sanitize all classrooms, common areas and buses with Dettol solution.
· Ask all visitors (including parents) to cleanse their hands with hand sanitizer upon arrival, encourage others to do as well.
· All visitors will have their temperature checked and fill in a Self - declaration form.
· All our community will observe anyone for any flu-like symptoms and alert the health office immediately.
What can you do to Help?
· Any family members, living in Hyderabad, who have traveled to a Level 3 country in the past 14 days, the family must refrain from coming onto campus. This includes Italy, Korea, China, Japan and Iran. Please call our Health Office for more information.
· Observe abundant caution when considering travel.
· Practicing healthy cough, sneeze and hand hygiene will help everyone in the community to stay healthy.
· Should your child be sick, please keep him/her at home until fever/symptom-free for a full 24 hours.
· Continue to stay focused on the facts and what we can do to remain healthy.
· Speak with your children about how to keep healthy, but do not panic them.
· A reminder of the importance not to single out groups based on the geography of the spread of COVID-19. The World Health Organization reports that stigmatizing suggests that when people negatively associate a virus with a specific population of people it could actually increase the likelihood of spreading the disease.
· Sunita Verghese continues to be the ISH point person.
Note: There is only one main entrance to our campus, so this is the only one to be used.
Social media continues to spread fear and anxiety at this stressful time. It is clear that fear of the coronavirus is spreading farther and faster than the virus itself. Social media is a primary reason for the fast spread of anxiety and fear. Research tells us that if news frightens or angers people, they are more likely to re-post it, without checking for accuracy. Thank you to the ISH community for not embarking upon this behavior as other schools are dealing with this on top of the dynamic situation. If you have any questions, please reach out to Sunita Verghese on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
India Self Declaration Form for Travelers
CBC/Radio-Canada Video: Get the Facts on the Coronavirus
World Health Organization (WHO) – COVID-19 Situation Reports
India Press Information Bureau
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 Home
European Centre for Disease Control
Johns-Hopkins CSSE Map
New Information Regarding Travel Advisories
WHO Director-General Briefing on 2 March
WHO Video: When to Wear a Mask
Siemens Coronavirus Safety Comic
UNICEF Coronavirus Info and Precautions Video