Any school with confirmed COVID-19 infections, even if it is only a single case, will be closed for two days, according to a new directive by the Ministry of Education (MOE)
Deputy Education Minister Dato' Dr Mah Hang Soon said the new directive will take effect starting Wednesday, 21 April.
According to New Straits Times, Mah said the decision was made at a high-level meeting of ministry officials chaired by Education Minister Dr Radzi Md Jidin due to the spike in number of COVID-19 cases of late.
Mah said students will have to take online lessons for the two days
Speaking to Sin Chew Daily, the deputy minister clarified that during that time, health officials will inspect and disinfect the school.
"The school will be disinfected completely, and the teachers, students, and parents will have an emotional buffer space, which will prevent unnecessary panic and misunderstanding," Mah told the Chinese daily.
He added that the health officials will then conduct risk assessments to decide whether to allow students back or to extend the closure beyond two days.
The announcement comes after a recent spike in COVID-19 clusters appearing in schools nationwide
Yesterday alone, 21 April, the Melaka Health Department closed a school in Alor Gajah after 37 students tested positive, while a cluster in Sabah began after 72 students from a boarding school in Kota Kinabalu became infected.
New Straits Times reported that this year alone saw 83 clusters related to educational institutions, with more than 4,000 people testing positive for COVID-19.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said, of that number, 49 are still currently active, involving 2,617 patients.
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