No need to close Kedah, Sabah schools — Health-DG

KUALA LUMPUR (July 31): Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pictured) said there is no need to close schools and kindergartens in Kedah and Sabah, despite the re-emergence of Covid-19 cases there.

He said this in response to Sabah Health Director Dr Christina Rundi's announcement yesterday that two students of a primary school in Sabah had been tested positive for the virus. One was a female student in Kota Kinabalu, who was referred from a clinic and tested positive during screening for admission to the Sabah Women and Children Hospital. Another was a student in Papar, who did not attend school since early this year.

“Both children have been admitted to the hospital and we have isolated them and are treating them. So rest assured that there have been no clusters formed in the school with regards to the two children.

None of the school’s other children or teachers have been infected.

“If we manage to find three positive cases, then we call them a cluster and then perhaps we have to look into our action plan intervention — whether to enhance the MCO [Movement Control Order] in that area or to close down the school, or even institution or locality. We are also looking into the high-risk groups and localities,” Noor Hisham told a media briefing yesterday.

Meanwhile, he updated that for the Sivagangga cluster in Kedah, which was detected in a district close to several kindergartens and day care centres, 143 people have been screened. From the lot, six were found positive and 67 were negative, while 70 who are still awaiting their results have been placed under home surveillance.

A total of 73 kindergartens and three daycare centres under the Community Development Department (Kemas) in Kubang Pasu have been ordered to close yesterday, following the detection of the Sivagangga cluster, whose index case was a restaurant owner. Some guardians and parents were believed to have gone to the restaurant linked to the cluster.

Malaysia reported eight new Covid-19 cases yesterday, bringing the cumulative cases in the country to 8,964 with 223 active cases. 

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