UAE officials close all Dubai nurseries

Confusion as nurseries closed over swine flu fears

UAE officials have closed all Dubai nurseries and deferred teaching at special needs centres to prevent the spread of swine flu, as the virus claims a further two lives.

A 75-year-old man and an eight month-old baby, both UAE nationals, were the latest victims of H1N1, the Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday.

Their deaths bring the total number of people killed by the virus to six.

The baby suffered heart disease and had received treatment in US, while the elderly man suffered from shortness of breath and chronic diseases, the official news agency WAM reported.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Affairs ordered the closure of nurseries in a bid to prevent further swine flu cases, a move that will be troublesome for many working parents who rely on childcare services.

The ministry said it took the decision as a precaution, in line with guidance from the World Health Organisation. Teaching at special needs centres will also be delayed.

Marian Mohammed Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of Social Affairs, told WAM the policy was to protect young children and vulnerable adults from the potentially lethal virus.

Education officials in Abu Dhabi announced a swine flu action plan for all schools in the emirate on Tuesday. Schools will not close under the plan, but step-by-step instructions on what action to take should a pupil or member of staff be infected have been issued.

When Time Out Kids contacted nurseries today the team found that some were open as usual. Although many nurseries had been inundated with calls from confused parents there had been no contact from the Ministry of Social Affairs.

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