PM: Schools with Covid-19 cases can close immediately

KUALA LUMPUR: Schools which record any Covid-19 positive cases can immediately close without waiting for risk evaluation from the Health Ministry.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the National Security Council (NSC) special meeting on Covid-19 today had agreed for the Education Ministry to issue directives to shut schools if some teachers or students had tested positive for the virus.

The announcement was made following reports of two SK Bangsar female pupils in Year Five and Year Four who had been infected, believed to be by relatives who had attended a wedding reception recently.

The school was informed of these cases by the Health Ministry yesterday morning, but no directive to close the school was given. Only the afternoon session was cancelled after they were informed.

"New Covid-19 cases in Selangor and the Federal Territories were discussed (during the NSC special meeting). This includes the case involving students at SK Bangsar.

"The meeting agreed for the Education Ministry to issue directives for schools to close if there are teachers or students who test positive, without waiting for risk evaluation from the Health Ministry," Muhyiddin said on Facebook after virtually chairing the NSC special meeting from his home today.

He also said the Education Ministry would consider the need to shut all schools in Sabah, following the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the state.

Senior Education Minister Dr Radzi Jidin would make an official announcement on the matter, he added.

Muhyiddin also said the meeting reported that Kedah had shown improvement after experiencing a sharp increase in cases of late.

"Many of the clusters, including Sivagangga, Muda and Sanglang no longer report new cases.

"Only the Bah Sintok and Tembok clusters were still recording new cases, but the situation remains under control.

"This shows that the steps taken by various agencies to curb the pandemic in Kedah are working."

Hospital capacity to treat Covid-19 patients in Sabah was also broached, he said, adding that the government had agreed for the Health Ministry to discuss with the Malaysian Armed Forces for assistance in terms of medical facilities that could be offered by their medical corps.

Muhyiddin had also instructed the Immigration Department to prioritise the management of illegal immigrants in Sabah, which, he said, was one of the causes for the spread of the pandemic in the state.

"This includes the need to increase the capacity of Immigration detention depots to house detained illegal immigrants and ensure that all detainees were not exposed to the risk of Covid-19 infection.

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