MoH confident of SOP for school reopening

by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by BERNAMA

THE Health Ministry (MoH) is confident that the standard operating procedure (SOP) put in place is adequate to control Covid-19 infections when schools reopen.

Health DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the guidelines are ready and will be announced two weeks before schools reopen.

“The guidelines are ready, and they have been submitted to the Education Ministry. However, we will keep improving the guidelines from time to time.

“Our priority will be for Forms Five and Six students who will sit for their exams. We have not decided on the reopening date, but the guidelines are ready,” he said in his daily Covid-19 updates yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham added that although school canteens will open, students will not be allowed to dine in.

“Students will not eat in the canteens. Instead, they will queue one metre apart, collect their food and head straight to their classrooms to eat.

“We have set the social-distancing measures for classrooms as well,” he said, adding that the greater the distance between individuals, the lesser potential for the virus to spread.

Yesterday, 93 new Covid-19 cases were recorded, involving 91 foreigners and two Malaysians. No import cases were recorded in the country.

Among the active cases, six were placed in the intensive care unit, with two of them requiring respiratory aid.

Dr Noor Hisham said 55 of the new cases are from the Bukit Jalil immigration depot, while 36 are from the Pedas factory workers cluster.

He added that the new cases from the Pedas cluster were detected after repeated screenings were conducted on workers undergoing quarantine.

“They have already been isolated in the quarantine centre, so they do not pose any risk of transmission to the community,” he said.

The increase in new cases brought the current active cases to 1,324 and the country’s overall total to 7,970 as of yesterday.

Meanwhile, 61 patients recovered, increasing the recovered cases percentage to 81.9%, which equals to 6,531.

No new death was recorded for the 12th consecutive day, as the country’s death tally remained at 115.

Dr Noor Hisham also said a total of 4,908 samples from the four Immigration Detention Centres (DTI) were tested, with 466 of them positive for Covid-19.

The four DTIs include Bukit Jalil, Semenyih, Sepang and Putrajaya.

Dr Noor Hisham said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and other top officials, who were exposed to a Covid-19 patient at a post-Cabinet meeting, have tested negative.

Yesterday was their 14th day of quarantine and all those who attended the meeting had tested negative for the virus after being swabbed again.

“Tomorrow, they will be back to their normal work routine. So far, they have shown positive responses, with none of them tested positive,” he said.