KUALA LUMPUR – The Ministry of Health (MOH) has detected a rise of Covid-19 cases among the students and educators since the school session reopens on 9 January.
Director-General of Health, Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said that the increment of infection risk was exposed when they gather in mass.
According to him, there are 107 Covid-19 education clusters involving 4,633 cases since within the first 25 days of 2022.
“This drastic increment was recorded after the school session reopens this year, compared to last year,” he said in a statement today.
He said, there was only three education clusters during the Epidemiology Week (EW) 1 of 2022.
However, the clusters increased after the school session resumed on EW2 when it recorded 15 clusters. It recorded an increment of 313% during EW3.
He said, on EW4 until yesterday, 26 more education clusters were reported.
In total, there are 107 education clusters in the country now. The institutions under the Ministry of Education (MOE) contributed to the highest number of cases with 56 clusters, followed by other education clusters (24.3%), higher education category (20.6%) and private education institutions registered with MOE (2.8%).
From the 4,633 cases in the education cluster, 4,092 cases (88.3%) are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, meanwhile, 112 cases (2.4%) have received booster dose.
Dr Noor Hisham said, majority of the cases reported mild symptoms in Category 1 and 2 (4,621 cases), meanwhile, 12 cases were in category 3 and 4.
He said, all 12 cases are currently stable and under treatment at the health facility.
According to him, based on the investigation by the District Health Office (PKD) on the cases and clusters, the cluster emerged due to the non-compliance of SOP by the people in the education institutions while they were in school and outside the formal schooling hours, especially when they were in their dorms.
“Other causes involved late detection of symptomatic individuals and they continued to attend classes, students in quarantine at school did not follow the quarantine order and procedures, no scheduled disinfection at focused areas.
“Furthermore, there was also lack of good ventilation in the classrooms and dorm,” he said.
Therefore, the MOH has highlighted several Covid-19 screening guideline for the education sector in the National Covid-19 Screening Strategy.
Primary schools and preschools from various agencies need to conduct Covid-19 screening using RTK-Ag on 10 percent of the students’ cohort who attend school every week.
The tests need to be monitored by the school and PKD for early Covid-19 cases detection among students. -MalaysiaGazette