20 new school clusters in March-April, says health minister

Geraldine Tong
·2-min read
20 new school clusters in March-April, says health minister
20 new school clusters in March-April, says health minister

Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said there is a worrying increase in Covid-19 clusters involving schools, with 20 new ones linked to the education sector announced in March and April so far.

Adham said such clusters have been on the rise, and they are linked to transmission from co-workers or social contact.

“District health officers will be sent to monitor the situation. They will do thorough risk and health assessments to ensure the cases and clusters can be managed as well as possible.

“For prevention purposes, the district health officer will advise the school to close temporarily, whether just the class involved or the whole school, depending on the assessment,” he added.

Adham was speaking at a joint press conference with Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, which was held in Putrajaya and broadcasted online through video conferencing today.

The Education Ministry reopened primary schools in early March, while secondary school students returned to school in April.

Adham also warned that if the Covid-19 pandemic becomes uncontrollable again, prevention and control methods, aside from vaccination, will have to be stepped up.

When asked if Malaysia was potentially heading into a fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said the country’s R-naught went above 1.0 since two days ago, which is a worrying sign.

However, he added that the possibility of a fourth wave depended highly on the reopening of borders.

For example, there are currently nine Covid-19 cases involving the South African variant of the virus in the country.

“These nine cases are under control… and so far from the imported cases daily, we continue to monitor and immediately isolate them if they test positive when they enter the country,” he said.