Monday, June 22, 2009

A(H1N1): First School In Malaysia Closed

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: SJK (C) Jalan Davidson is the first school in Malaysia to be closed after an 11-year-old student testing positive on Friday for the Influeza A(H1N1) was found to have transmitted the virus to two classmates.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the National Security Council agreed to close the school until June 26 and its students and staff numbering some 2,100 were home quarantined.

Making the announcement after meeting with the school staff and Parent-Teacher Association here Sunday, Liow said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who chairs the National Security Council agreed to close the school for a week.

He added that the other two schools with infected students in Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam would be closed only if the authorities discovers a local transmission of the virus.

Earlier when opening a A(H1N1) awareness campaign in Batu 11, Cheras organised by the Serdang MCA division, Liow had said that he had proposed for the closure of the school with the council after the local transmission was detected.

“It is our opinion that we should close the school. As long as there is even one case of local transmission, we must take precaution and close the school,” he had said.

Another eight new cases were reported Sunday bringing the total to 50 cases.

It included five school children - an 11-year-old from SRK Assunta 2, a 16-year-old from SM Shah Alam, and the three at Class 5 I of SJK(C) Jalan Davidson.

He said the Ministry had to look at all eventualities and take necessary steps to ensure the virus does not spread further in the school.

“We don’t want to have any problems in that school so we have to make sure the safety of the children come first,” he said, adding that the Health Ministry’s guidelines recommended schools to be closed if a local transmission is detected.

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