KUCHING: Sarawak has closed the operations rooms for hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD) at the state health department and divisional and district health offices in view of the declining trend of the outbreak.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said the worst of the outbreak was over and the number of new cases per week had come down to less than 100 in the past three weeks.
However, he said that surveillance of HFMD would continue as it was a notifiable disease, which made it compulsory to be reported to health authorities.
It has been a long outbreak, now entering the 39th week, but finally it has come down, he told a press conference at his office here on Tuesday.
As HFMD is endemic in Sarawak and can still occur, Dr Chan advised the public to continue taking preventive measures such as observing proper hygiene, isolating ill children at home and keeping their homes clean.
He urged operators of childcare centres and kindergartens to maintain cleanliness, teach children personal hygiene and screen children daily for symptoms of HFMD so that cases can be detected early.
He added that the state had requested Federal funding for a study to be conducted on the disease, which had claimed 13 lives this year.
On Tuesday, 16 new cases were reported statewide and five admitted to hospital with the total of number of cases standing at 14,521.