Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). COVID-19 is a coronavirus first detected in China that is a “betacoronavirus” – like MERS and SARS. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The complete clinical picture with regards to COVID-19 is not yet fully understood, as research is still underway.
● Runny nose
● Sore throat
● Shortness of breath
● Feeling of being unwell
● For those with a weakened immune system, the elderly and the very young, there’s a chance the virus could cause a much more serious, respiratory tract illnesses like pneumonia or bronchitis.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Advice:
● Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
● When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
● Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough;
● When touching an object or surface with the virus on it, do not touch your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands;
● If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
● When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
● Avoid the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
● Drink lots of water and always stay hydrated;
● Eat healthy food and include best immunity-boosting foods like honey, neem, green tea, olive oil, garlic, carrots, nuts & seeds, lemon, turmeric, coconut oil, probiotics and microgreens in your everyday diet.
It is important that children are aware of the situation too. There is an abundance of misinformation being spread and many children do not have the experience and wisdom to sort fact from fiction effectively. As such without gentle reassurance and calm support our children, particularly those in Primary, may suffer varying levels of fear. Fear in turn may give way to bullying as students try and apply simple misguided logic in effort to distance themselves from perceived sources of infection.
We would ask all parents to make themselves knowledgeable on the fundamentals of this outbreak and talk to your children in a calm and reasoned manner. Ignorance, panic and fear can be as dangerous as the illness itself.
● All staff, students and visitors to have temperature scanned – anyone with a temperature is to be barred from the campus;
● Provide hand sanitisers in key locations across the campus;
● Teachers to reinforce healthy habits.
● Have Academic Plan for School closure or long absences.
● Have cover lessons prepared for Teachers that fall sick and require protracted Medical leave.
● Keep parents informed of significant developments via School Website and official Facebook Page.
● Parents’ Association to spearhead coffee mornings, talks, flyers and posters to educate all Parents on all matters relating to COVID-19
● To assist the school to de-escalate the stress and concerns of COVID-19 on Parent WhatsApp Groups (tackling gossip and unfounded concerns early)
● Support the initiative to reinforce Healthy Habits at home.
● Support the initiative to keep unhealthy children at home, allowing time to recover and get in contact with Head of Key Stage to request for homework to ensure learning is not interrupted (when the time off school exceeds more than 3 days).
With no vaccine or effective treatment:
● all inter-school activities cancelled (all planned school trips, MUNs, sports competitions, etc)
● large events involving (>100 visitors in one area at one time) and field trips will be indefinitely postponed, awaiting a time the crises in hand has passed.
Whilst the situation in Malaysia is not classified as critical by the Malaysian Government – small gatherings ( less than 100 visitors in one area at one time) will continue under the following criteria.
● All visitors are screened for temperature prior to entry, anyone not in the normal range to be denied entry into the school.
● All visitors to be briefed on the need for good personal hygiene (how to cough, sneeze, keep hands clean, etc
14-day self-quarantine period for staff and students who have travelled to (LAST UPDATED 3rd MARCH 2020):
• Hong Kong
• South Korea
Please note that this should also apply if you have received a visitor from these areas. We appreciate this is a difficult request, but we believe strong measures are needed to curtail the spread. Secondary students and parents of primary students in quarantine should contact the relevant Head of Key Stage in order to receive homework packs so that education can continue. In order to keep track of students and ensure that relevant homework packs are sent home to ensure education does not stop, we would ask families to complete this online form.
When anyone is under self-quarantine, they are to stay at home for 14 consecutive days. No visitors should be allowed, and the quarantined person should limit themselves to an area that other members of the family are not present in (e.g. separate bathroom, bedroom, cutlery, etc). Otherwise the entire family needs to be quarantined in addition.
If a visit to the doctor is required, they should be contacted ahead of time so that specific procedures applied by the clinic/ hospital can be followed.
In all regards school and life in general should continue until such time as the student or member of staff has come into contact with someone who is known to have contracted the virus or they in turn have been in contact with someone who has been confirmed with the virus.
It is important that we all keep healthy and active, as this will keep our immune system strong(er). Continuing an active regimen of physical education and swimming will assist in this. Also, it should be stressed that swimming pools are chlorinated to international standards and as such the pool itself and swimming pose no infection threat. Thereafter, it is a question of exercising good personal hygiene habits – something elc staff continue to actively promote every day.
elc’ subscribes to the current advise of the World Health Organisation (WHO) as follows:
• If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
• Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
• Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
• If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
Please visit https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks for more information.
elc will not be providing masks nor enforcing its use. Although, rest assured those displaying symptoms will be asked to leave school and be medically examined, and if necessary, self-quarantined.
We have found the greatest amount of reliable and current information can be found here:
World Health Organisation website.
Additional sources include:
• Malaysian Ministry of Health
• UK National Health Service
• Centre for Disease Control & Prevention