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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Fake news: Ministry debunks distance learning rumours

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Rumours concerning an alleged change in the school system amid a rise of COVID-19 cases have spread, prompting the ministry of health to step in.

No changes have been made to the school system despite the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, the ministry of education confirmed, quelling rumours shared on social media. 

The statement followed days of fake news on social media that claimed schools will soon implement distance learning as part of measures to stem the rise of infections. 

“Kindly be informed that schooling shall continue to be offered under the current form, as false news are being circulated on social media platforms,” the tweet read. 

On Wednesday, Qatar’s health ministry confirmed 451 new COVID-19 cases, bumping the number of current active cases to 7,749 – the highest in months. 

In a bid to contain the surge in cases, the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management announced a new plan earlier this month to gradually re-impose new health and safety restrictions.

However, the committee said no changes will be made for the school system, saying the blended learning system in schools will continue with the current capacity.

Meanwhile, other measures imposed include restricting the number of those in the workplace, closing children’s playgrounds and indoor amusement parks, limiting the capacity of indoor sports and fitness areas such as gyms, and banning indoor weddings (unless held at home) while restricting the number of attendees of at home weddings, both indoor and outdoor, to 10 and 15 respectively.

Read more: Four HMC facilities close to visitors as Qatar witnesses COVID-19 spike

Earlier this month, the Head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation Dr. Abdul Latif Al-Khal said that the size of the second wave is unclear but advised residents to commit to precautionary health measures to curb the intensity of the wave.

Despite the concerning numbers, Qatar has had a coronavirus fatality rate of 0.14%, one of the lowest in the world.


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