China Daily Global Edition (USA)

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


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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