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Govt working on guidance for children with Covid symptoms

Pic: Johnny Bugeja

As schools prepare to reopen next week, the Gibraltar Government has said it is taking “active steps” to alleviate parents’ and carers’ concerns regarding the requirements to isolate should children present with any Covid-19 symptoms.

The Government was responding to GSD questions as to what parents are expected to do if their children show signs of illness.

In a statement the Government said that the nature of Covid-19 means that it shares symptoms with many other milder, common winter illnesses.

It explained that immediate isolation at the onset of symptoms is currently the best strategy to prevent community spread, especially to vulnerable groups and the advice with regards to school pupils remains the same.

“If a child is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, call 111 immediately and seek medical advice. It will be for clinicians to decide whether any symptoms a child suffers from are new, or arise from a chronic condition.”

“It is right and proper that they be brought in for review, and if appropriate based on the clinical picture, they may be swabbed. This has been the normal practice since March 2020.”

“Only if the swab is positive, will the whole household and any close contacts need to self-isolate.”

Clinicians may decide to also carry out a suite of tests rapidly – called a respiratory screen – that can help identify many of the other illnesses that share symptoms with Covid-19.

This, the Government said, will alleviate the pressure on families to self-isolate and limit the amount of time that a pupil may have to stay home from school.

The Government said its priority is for pupils to return safely to full-time education as soon as possible.

The Government has also encouraged parents and carers of all children 12 years and under to arrange for them to have the flu sniff as soon as it is available. This is administered by a nasal drop and will be “critical” in removing at least one cause of common symptoms.

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