Flu outbreaks have been reported in 119 schools across Hong Kong over the past three and half weeks, prompting some parents to seek the suspension of classes in places where the situation is serious, Apple Daily reported Thursday.
Cheung Yung-pong, chairman of the Subsidized Primary Schools Council and principal of SKH St James Primary School, said there is no need for general suspension of classes at the moment but only for schools where 10 percent of students have taken sick leaves.
Most schools will start their recess after Feb. 13 for Lunar New Year which starts on the 19th.
Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said the Center for Health Protection is preparing a new set of guidelines for schools, including precautionary measures such as taking the temperature of students every day and urging students who have a fever to wear masks and go home to rest.
Data from the center shows that 1,273 flu cases were reported from Jan. 11 to Feb. 3 in 214 schools, elderly homes and care centers, suggesting an upward trend. Those affected included 75 primary schools, 25 kindergartens and 20 secondary schools.
Decisions on class suspension will be based on indicators suggested by a group of experts in 2008, including a sick leave rate of at least 10 percent among students, hospitalization rate of at least 1 percent, two or more students put in intensive care units or sudden death of students who used to be healthy, the report said.
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