Schools, kindergartens to remain open – Health DG

By S BIRRUNTHA

The Ministry of Health (MoH) said it is not recommending the closure of schools and kindergartens yet, as no clusters related to those two places had been identified.

Health DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said for schools that have recorded positive Covid-19 cases, they will be disinfected and screenings will be carried out on close contacts.

He added that instead of closing the schools, the ministry suggests frequent disinfection activities and cleaning to be carried out in common-use areas.

“Looking into the two new cases involving primary school children in Sabah, we did a sampling at the school but none of the school students or teachers were found to be infected. 

“So, there is no cluster from the school,” he said in his Covid-19 press conference yesterday.

For the positive case involving a school student in Kedah, Dr Noor Hisham said the closure of school and kindergarten is not needed, as disinfection of the common use area should be sufficient.

He also noted that the students have been isolated and admitted to the hospitals and all of them are undergoing treatment.

As of yesterday, the country recorded eight new Covid-19 positive cases involving five local transmissions and three import cases.

The increase in new cases yesterday have brought the country’s overall total to 8,964.   

There are now 223 active Covid-19 cases that are being treated at health facilities nationwide.   

Among the active cases yesterday, three were placed in the intensive care unit (ICU), with one case under ventilator support.   

Five patients have been discharged yesterday, increasing the total recovered cases in the country to 8,617, which equals to 96.1%.           

No new deaths have been recorded yesterday, as the country’s death tally remains at 124.

Additionally, Dr Noor Hisham also noted that the Bukit Bintang cluster had officially ended yesterday.

He said the cluster previously recorded 11 positive cases without involving any death cases.

“The Bukit Bintang cluster is the 69th cluster in the country that has ended. There are still 24 active clusters left but none recorded new cases as of yesterday,” he added.

On another note, Dr Noor Hisham also said the ministry had increased the country’s Covid-19 testing labs, which now have a capacity of 37,336 tests a day. 

He said the country had conducted 6,329 tests on July 29 which was around 17%.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham has urged the public to avoid any mass gatherings while celebrating Aidiladha at their respective places.

He also added that several standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been developed to enable the celebration to be celebrated with a new normal.

“The ministry would like to stress the use of face masks in crowded areas, especially if social distancing is difficult to practice. We also urge the public to adhere to the SOPs.

“If we have the full cooperation from the public, we can definitely prevent the transmission of Covid-19 during this festival,” he said.