The health ministry has suggested that a circular be issued to allow symptomatic teachers and students to skip school to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said the ministry submitted the proposal to Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali and Education Minister Radzi Jidin after education cluster cases shot up by 83.3% between April 11 and last Saturday.
“The circular should be issued because there are fears among teachers and students that action will be taken against them for not attending school although they have symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough and loss of sense of taste,” he said at a press conference today.
He said teachers who could not attend school should inform the relevant district health office so that a letter could be issued to confirm that they have symptoms.
“Covid-19 screening tests will be immediately conducted and if they test positive, reports will be made. We just want to remind teachers not to misuse this arrangement,” he added.
Adham said symptomatic students should skip school straight away to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.
“Symptomatic students should be allowed to skip school and should not be marked as absent although they stay at home,” he said.
Adham also said 23,779 students aged 12 and below had tested positive for Covid-19 so far this year.
“This is a sharp rise compared to the 8,369 cases involving students aged 12 and below last year,” he said.
He said about 60% of all Covid-19 cases reported between Jan 1 and April 25 this year did not have any “epid link”, meaning the sources of infection were unknown.
“They account for 170,173 cases and this is very high. Such sporadic cases are already in the community.”
He said the states with the most sporadic cases are Selangor with 65,215, Kuala Lumpur (19,834) and Johor (17,974).