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Fujian outbreak wake-up call to better protect kids against virus

China Daily | Updated: 2021-09-17

The novel coronavirus outbreak in Fujian province is a matter of concern, because the infections were first detected among school students and a large percentage of those infected are students, a first in the country.

As of Monday, 85 positive cases had been detected in Xianyou county of Putian prefecture, with 36 of them being students-eight nursery students and 28 primary school students.

The new outbreak should be a wake-up call for those carrying out epidemic prevention and control work.

Currently, all epidemic prevention and control measures such as quarantining, suspension of offline teaching, and community entry and exit management are in place in Putian.

Some special measures have also been taken for quarantining the infected children. For example, children aged between four and five have been allowed to stay with their parents. Also, extra reading materials and recreational tools have been provided for the infected primary school students.

In February, the authorities issued notices listing epidemic prevention and control measures for children and pregnant women. In August, the Ministry of Education issued an emergency notice, requiring local education departments to vaccinate eligible students under the age of 18 after briefing and taking the consent of the students and their guardians.

As of Sept 6, 162.28 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered to children in the 12-17 age group across the country.

Protecting children from the epidemic is a matter that requires the cooperation of the entire society. Given that cutting transmission chains is crucial for containing the spread of the virus, families must provide the first line of defense.

Apart from frequently washing their hands and ensuring good ventilation at home, parents should also remember to regularly disinfect their children's tableware and toys, wash their own hands before touching their children, and teach the children hygienic habits.

Kindergartens and schools should implement strict epidemic prevention and control measures, while grassroot-level medical and health centers should conduct surveys and spread health information related to children in their communities.

The situation in Fujian has again shown that it is not yet time to let down the guard in the fight against the virus.

And as the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays are round the corner, parents should make epidemic prevention and control a priority while planning their holiday.

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