KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — A total of 732 school students have been infected by Covid-19 as of September 20, including 108 from June 24 when schools reopened in phases, according to Health Minister Dr Adham Baba.
Malaysia imposed a strict nationwide lockdown for seven weeks from March 18 to May 3 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Strict movement restrictions were implemented in stages under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967.
Starting from May 4, the country implemented the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and ended it on June 9. The Recovery Movement Control Order began on June 10 and is scheduled until the end of the year.
“During the MCO period, all schools were directed to close and to not operate. Schools were allowed to re-operate in phases during the CMCO period.
“On June 24, schools opened for students sitting for public examinations, followed by July 15 for Form One to Form Four students and remove class (transition year) students, as well as Year Five and Six pupils. On July 22, schools reopened for Year One to Year Four students,” Dr Adham said in a written parliamentary reply on September 21.
Senator Donald Peter Mojuntin (UPKO) had asked the health minister in Dewan Negara to disclose the number Covid-19 cases detected in schools.
According to Dr Adham, the National Security Council (MKN) has developed standard operating procedures (SOPs) as guidelines for the Malaysian community during the CMCO and RMCO, including SOPs for the education sector. The Ministry of Education also developed ‘School Reopening Management Guidelines’.
The Tawar cluster in Kedah recorded five Covid-19 cases involving school students.
However, Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yakob announced in July that wearing a face mask was not compulsory for students in school.