732 students tested positive for Covid-19 since outbreak began

Schools across the country began to reopen in stages from June 24, after 3 months of complete shutdown


HEALTH officials have so far recorded 732 students who tested positive for Covid-19 up until Sept 20 since the beginning of the outbreak.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Adham Baba, in a parliamentary written reply on Monday, said of the total, 108 students tested positive when schools reopened in June.

However, no further details on the confirmed cases were provided in the statement.

Recent reports confirmed that at least five schools in Kedah were affected by the Sivagangga cluster, while 44 schools in the east coast of Sabah were forced to close for disinfection following the rise of new Covid-19 cases in the area.

Hundreds of tahfiz schools have also been screened over the period where students were found to be positive.

Adham was responding to Senator Datuk Donald Peter Mojuntin’s question on whether there have been any confirmed Covid-19 cases detected at any schools in recent months.

Schools across the country began to reopen in stages from June 24, after three months of complete shutdown.

The first phase involved more than half a million students across thousands of secondary and international schools, most of whom were due to sit for public examinations this year.

The second phase involved Form One to Form Four students, and Year Five and Year Six students on July 15. The subsequent phase on July 22 included students from Year One to Year Four.

Senior Minister (Education Cluster) Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said the decision to reopen schools in stages was made upon rigorous consultation with health authorities and trial runs conducted since early April.

Official safety guidelines have been distributed to schools on June 4 which allowed schools to prepare before it reopened for the first time since March 18.

The guidelines, vetted and approved by the Health Ministry (MoH) and the National Security Council (NSC), include classroom arrangements, movement at canteens and restrictions on assemblies and physical activities.

Mohd Radzi said body temperatures must be checked at the school gate before being allowed entry. This will be applicable to students, teachers and visitors to the school. Those with readings above 37.5°C will not be allowed in.

The guidelines also provide a contextual directive on the use of face masks, which is advised by the World Health Organisation to prevent widespread transmission. Students who show symptoms will be given a face mask to wear by the teacher. Floor markers have been placed around the school compound to help with movement, while desks in classrooms are arranged one metre apart.

The implementation of the standard rules is monitored by district and state education offices.