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Swine flu scare is extending summer holiday
Officials of Gulf States are delaying the start of schools due to the rise in the number of H1N1 cases in the region is increasing.
September 17, 2009 12:46 by Aarti Nagraj
Oman has just reported two more swine flu related deaths, bringing the total number of H1N1 virus fatalities in the GCC to 61, reports AFP. The rising number of cases in the region has forced governments in some of the countries to further delay the reopening of schools.
Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday that it will postpone the start of the academic year; high school and secondary grade students will start on November 10, while kindergartens, elementary schools and special needs schools will begin on November 17.
The decision was made by the kingdom’s ministries of health and education and is based on the timeframe of launching training programs for staff in schools, according to the official Saudi Press Agency. Saudi has also placed an order of 6 million swine flu vaccines for students.
The Oman government has also extended the holidays for students in public schools to prevent the spread of the virus. The 1,053 schools will open in stages depending on the grades; 11th and 12th students will start school on October 3, 8th-10th students start on October 17, 5th-7th students on October 31, and the primary grade students begin on November 7.
The schools were originally scheduled to open on August 29, but the date had got postponed to September 26.
In Bahrain, the education ministry has forced the closure of a school, the third in two days, after one of its students was confirmed to have swine flu. Earlier this month, the ministry had said that any school reporting a confirmed case of swine flu among staff or students would have to close for a week.
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