Coronavirus - NSW schools to extend holidays by 2 weeks

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With the confirmed news about the spread of Coronavirus globally including the fifth case of coronavirus in Australia who flew into Sydney on the last flight from Wuhan last week, it is imminent that this will take time to contain the spread.

Some of the schools in NSW have taken appropriate measure of safety, that includes Pymble Ladies College in Sydney’s north who have told parents in a text message they should not send their daughters to school for at least 14 days after returning to Australia from an affected area of China, or after contact with someone who had visited an affected area.

Other private schools, including Scots College, Ravenswood School for Girls, Kambala School, and Newington College, have told parents that students who have visited affected regions in China must provide medical clearance from a doctor, the ABC reported.

Parents are very concerned about their children safety and have been in discussions in several disparate groups of opting/refraining their children to go to the school for 2 weeks, which is the indicated timeframe for symptoms to appear.

On the other hand, the health department has made a statement:

“Children and staff who have recently returned from overseas and are well, and are not close contacts of a confirmed case, are able to attend school as normal,” the department said in a statement.

This would imply parents are supposed to self-assess and send their children to the school with no way to track or restrict children until it is spread causing wider damage. This may happen unknowingly by any parent, as it can take up to 2 weeks for symptoms to appear.

At least 80 people are confirmed to have died from the virus in China, and 2,744 people have contracted the illness, which has its origins in the city of Wuhan. This is going to get big anyway from here as the spread is not contained yet.

Are we willing to take such a big risk of self-assessment by parents, especially with the children who have weakened immune systems?

We propose- 2 weeks of extended holidays for the students, as it will give NSW health department along with NSW department of education some time to identify key places of spread, clear indication of spread and time to plan for appropriate measures, than waiting for it to take its own turn resulting in ruining lives.

Thanking in anticipation for your support.