PARENTS in Klang Valley are concerned about the rising number of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) cases but many say they will continue to send their children to day-care centres, schools and kindergartens.
This is because most of these educational institutions have increased their cleanliness and hygiene levels since the Covid-19 pandemic started two years ago.
However, if these institutions were ordered to close, working parents said they would seek permission from their employers to work from home.
Mother-of-three Jessica Teng said she would continue sending her children to school, including her youngest son to kindergarten.
“All my children have had HFDM and recovered within a week.
“The symptoms included sore throat and rashes on their hands and feet.
“Before the Covid-19 pandemic, I used to take leave and care for them at home.
“Now I am not worried as my employer allows us to work from home,” said Teng.
K. Suhana who has five children between the ages of four and 13, said her third child had HFMD in 2019.
“I am a lecturer in a public university. We have quarantine leave which we can utilise if our children are down with infectious diseases such HFMD or chicken pox.
“I think kindergartens can remain open but the management must ensure that these centres are kept clean at all times.
“Children’s temperature should be taken and if they have fever and rashes on their hands and feet, they should be sent home.
“HFMD is quite common but we should strengthen our children’s immunity by giving them vitamins,” she said.
Tan Chun Lynn said she would send her eight-year-old son Eathan Paul Jeganathan to school as he had missed two years of physical classes.
“HFMD is a manageable disease. I think schools should remain open but just take precautions,” said Tan.
Rebecca N., said her four-year-old daughter would still be going to day care as she was confident of the hygiene practises.
“She is not vaccinated against Covid-19 as she is under five.
“So I do not take her out except to school,” she said.
Last week, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said a total of 31,661 HFMD cases were recorded in Malaysia up to the 19th Epidemiology Week (EW19) compared to 2,121 cases recorded in 2021 over the same period of time.
As at May 14, Selangor had the highest number of cases at 8,864, which is 28% of the total number nationwide, followed by Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, both reporting 4,421 cases (14%).