COVID-19 infection in schools under control – Radzi Jidin

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

JITRA – The COVID-19 infection involving students following the opening of the face-to-face school sessions for states under Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan (PPN) is monitored accordingly, said Senior Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin.

He said the situation was under control considering the total number of schools nationwide, which is more than 10,000.

“Generally, in the current situation where we are in the transition to the endemic phase, we know that this virus is all around us. Alhamdulillah, the SOPs (standard operating procedures) are effective and work well,” he told reporters after handing over of digital education contributions at the Institute of Teachers Education, Darul Aman Campus, Jitra.

He was commenting on the current situation of the pandemic at Sekolah Seri Puteri, a residential school in Cyberjaya, which was ordered to close temporarily after 135 new COVID-19 positive cases involving its students and staff were detected.

The media also reported that 24 male students of Maktab Mahmud Sik tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday after showing symptoms since Nov 28, apart from three teachers from Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM) Pendang who also tested positive for the virus and were ordered to undergo home surveillance order (HSO).

Radzi said the cause of the infection at the schools concerned was still under investigation by the respective District Health Offices.

“In the context of these schools , we are very meticulous about hostels…very detailed SOPs are implemented because the risk is when there is a case, the potential for infection is there.

“In hostels, the risk of spreading is higher than in day schools, because in dormitories they are there all day, sitting together with friends without wearing the face mask. We will continue to monitor to ensure that the situation is orderly and safe for students,” he added.

Radzi, however, said he was glad that almost all the students affected by the COVID-19 infection had completed their vaccination  and were with in category one (asymptomatic) and category 2A with mild symptoms.

“So for students who have not yet received the vaccine, but are eligible for it, I appeal to the parents to bring their children for the vaccination for the safety of their own children.

“This also goes for teachers who have not received the vaccination yet,” he added.

Meanwhile, Radzi said the ministry would take stern action against school management that try to conceal positive COVID-19 case involving its teachers and students.

He said schools were required to report immediately on positive COVID-19 cases involving their students or staff.

In another development, Radzi said the ministry was now focusing on resolving several key issues, including to ensure that the opening of schools could be implemented safely and in an orderly manner, as well as to improve the educational infrastructure.

“We want to focus on making sure that our children can study in a conducive environment,” he added.