Penang State Health Department director Dr Wan Mansor Hamzah says SJK (C) Shih Chung branch was served with a 10-day closure notice since Tuesday. File pic by RAMDZAN MASIAM

GEORGE TOWN: Three primary schools in Penang are the latest to be ordered to close following the spread of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

State Health Department director Dr Wan Mansor Hamzah said SJK (C) Shih Chung branch was served with a 10-day closure notice since Tuesday.

He said both SJK (C) Chung San dan SJK (C) Sum Sun have reported HFMD cases.

“Health officials have gone to both schools to verify the situation to determine whether only certain classes will be closed or the whole school.

“Once we get the details, we will make an official announcement,” he told newsmen here on Wednesday.

Dr Wan Mansor said based on the official report they received as of noon Tuesday, two other schools were issued orders to close.

They were SJK (C) Phor Tay, where six of its classes were closed, while the whole of Tenby International School was

ordered to close.

“A total of 61 premises, not including the three latest primary schools, were closed due to HFMD since the start of this year.

“Although there has been an increase in the number of cases, nevertheless the situation is still under control,” Dr Wan Mansor added.

Four children are still under observation in the Penang Hospital and Seberang Jaya Hospital.

Meanwhile, state Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin said Penang recorded a 56.6 per cent increase in HFMD cases from Jan to May 28 this year, compared to the same period last year.

“There were 1,679 cases this year compared with 1,073 cases last year.

“As of July 11 this year, a total of 63 HFMD clusters have been reported compared to the same period last year,” he noted.

He urged parents, operators of daycare centres and kindergartens as well as schools to play their part in keeping their charges and surroundings clean at all times to keep in check the spread of the disease.



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