First city school shuts down
After 12-yr-old girl tests positive on Wednesday, authorities ask Juhu school to close class. It is the first school in the city to shut down due to the dreaded flu.Updated: Aug 08, 2009, 01:15 IST
RIMS International School and Junior College in Juhu shut down on Wednesday after a student tested positive for swine flu.
It is the first school in the city to shut down due to the dreaded flu. On Friday, fumigation was carried out on the school premises.
Nearly 15 Pune schools have been closed after students were diagnosed with swine flu. Executive Health Officer, BMC, Dr Jairaj Thanekar confirmed that a 12-year-old girl from RIMS school had tested positive.
“She is in Kasturba Hospital. She is doing fine now,” he said.
Thanekar added that they had advised the school authorities to close only the class in which the girl studied, but the authorities closed down entire school, as there are only 250 students.
While Dr Thanekar said the school would reopen on Monday, RIMS principal Kishor Pillai said they might keep the school closed next week, too.
“We don’t want to take chances. It is an international school and many students travel abroad,” he said.
Pillai, however, denied that a student had tested positive for swine flu. “I do not know of any student who tested positive. But around eight students had not returned after vacations so she could be one of them,” he said.
Jyoti Kutecha, a member of the parents’ association, said all students had been screened during the orientation on August 1.
Dr Thanekar said they have instructed schools to ask the in-house paediatricians to monitor the health of students.
Other city schools are also taking necessary precautions to ensure the flu does not spread. Most of them have issued circulars to parents requesting them not to send their wards to school if they have fever, cough, cold and other flu-like symptoms.
A doctor was invited to Greenlawns High School, Breach Candy, to talk about the flu. “We sent text messages to parents through our web portal,” said principal Kiran Bajaj.
Schools are also stressing more on personal hygiene.
“We are teaching students manners, like covering your mouth while coughing or sneezing. We are also asking them to stay at home if they get any flu-like symptoms,” said Abha Dharampal, Utpal Sanghvi High School, Juhu.
A 16-year-old Class 12 student of Apeejay School in Nerul has also been identified with the H1N1 virus. He has been quarantined at Kasturba.