Dr Adham: 83 Covid-19 clusters this year linked to education sector

KUALA LUMPUR: The decision to close an educational institution after a reported Covid-19 case is based on risk assessment by the district health office.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said when the ministry – whether district or state health departments – receive a report or notification on Covid-19 cases, a team from the district health office would be mobilised to conduct an investigation, contact tracing, risk assessment and other necessary steps to curb the spread of the virus.

“The district health office will advise the education institution’s management to run cleaning and disinfection exercises.

“The need to temporarily close the class or premises will be considered after risk assessment by the district health office,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Adham said these steps would be implemented to prevent the spread of Covid-19 among teachers, students, working staff, and the community.

He said his ministry continued to work together with all parties in the education sector, in preventing, controlling and tackling infection spread.

Between Jan 1 and April 20, 2021, 83 Covid-19 clusters were linked to the education sector, involving 4,686 cases.

Dr Adham said of the 83 clusters, 49 (59.04 per cent) were still active, involving 2,617 patients, while 34 clusters had ended.

“From the total clusters, 39 of them were linked to schools or institutions under the Education Ministry with 1,420 cases, while 19 clusters involving 1,870 cases involved institutions under the Higher Education Ministry,” he said, adding that 25 clusters (1,578 cases) involved other education institution sub-categories.

He reminded all in the education sector to always adhere to standard operating procedures before, during, and after learning or training hours.

These include wearing face masks, maintaining physical distance, practising personal hygiene, and regular hand-washing with soap and water or hand sanitisers.

He said screening for fever or any symptoms must be conducted at the school or premises entrance, and those who are unwell or show symptoms should seek treatment and check at the nearest health facility.

“Education institutions that record a case must immediately report the matter to the district health office,” he added. Nst

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