Johor Education director Shaharudin Sharif. (NSTP/MOHD AZREN JAMALUDIN)

JOHOR BARU: Three pre-schools in Johor were ordered closed by the Health Ministry last week following an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

Johor Education director Shaharudin Sharif said the pre-schools, located in Kluang and Batu Pahat, were directed to shut down on July 18 and 19.

“We have detected 42 pre-schoolers and 116 primary school students here with the disease so far this month,” he said when contacted by NSTP.

Shaharudin said, however, that no primary school in the state has been ordered shut by the ministry so far.

“The outbreak is still under control, but we will continue to monitor the situation.

“We have asked the affected pre-schools and students to follow instructions from the Health Ministry, such as observing good personal hygiene and keeping their premises clean,” he added.

Last week, the Education Ministry said that students at 63 schools nationwide had been infected with HFMD.

It’s Deputy Minister, Teo Nie Ching, said Johor and Selangor recorded the highest number of cases (17 schools in Johor and 16 in Selangor), followed by Sarawak (10 schools).

It was reported that so far, 418 educational premises across the country have been ordered closed – 198 child care centres, 197 kindergartens and 23 schools.

Authorities added that 33,425 cases of HFMD have been recorded in Malaysia this year.