PUTRAJAYA: SRK Assunta 2 in Petaling Jaya has been told to close for a week from Monday following a locally transmitted case of Influenza A (H1N1) being detected in the school, making it the second school to close due to the disease.
However, SRK Assunta 1, which is the afternoon session and shares the same building as Assunta 2 is not closed.
At the same time a class each in Seri Cempaka International School in Batu 9 Cheras, SMK Seksyen 9 Shah Alam and SMK Damansara Utama in Petaling Jaya and SM Wangsa Maju was also asked to stop classes for a week.
With the exception of SM Wangsa Maju, which is closed till June 25, students in the affected classes in the three remaining schools will have their studies disrupted till June 26.
SJK(C) Jalan Davidson is already closed till Friday.
The families of all the affected students are under home quarantine.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai encouraged schoolchildren returning from holidays in the United States, Australia and Philippines to stay away from school for a week, from the day they arrived home.
They must seek immediate treatment if they are unwell, he said.
Those who came back from other countries should also be equally vigilant, he said, urging parents concerned to cooperate in the wake of increasing fear of the transmission of influenza A(HINI) virus among school children. Meanwhile, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong in response to Liow’s call said the school principals could also assess and decide whether to have school children returning form United States, Australia and Philippines stay away from school for a week.
The school could make arrangements for the students involved so that their studies were not disrupted.
Health Ministry Director General Tan Sri Ismail Merican said three new local transmissions and five new confirmed cases of the Influenza A (H1N1) were detected in the past 24 hours, taking total cases in Malaysia to 58.
He said that all the eight cases were Malaysians.
The five cases were people who had come from Australia (2), United Kingdom (1), Manila (1) and Phuket (1), he said.
The 51st case is a three-year-old girl who returned from a week-long holiday in Melbourne on June 19 with her parents on MH 148. She was confirmed to have the flu on June 21.
The 52nd case is a 35-year-old MAS air steward who was on duty on MH1 Delta from London and arrived in KLIA on June 18. He showed symptoms the next day and was confirmed to have the flu on June 21 in the Sungai Buloh Hospital.
The 53rd case is a 27-year-old woman who returned from a holiday in Sydney with her husband on June 16 on MH 122. She is in Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
The 54th case is a 25-year-old woman who had contact with the 48th case and was confirmed with the flu June 21 in Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, Alor Star. She is the 5th local transmission.
The 55th case is an 18-year-old woman who was also infected by the 48th cases and is hospitalised in Alor Star. She is the 6th local transmission.
The 56th case is a businessman who had returned from Manila on MH 705 on June 15 and is now warded in Hospital Sungai Buloh.
The 57th case is a Malaysian man who had holidayed in Phuket and returned on June 21 in AirAsia AK837. He is in Hospital Sungai Buloh.
The 58th case is an 11-year-old female student who had contact with the 43 case. She is a student in SRK Assunta 2 but in a different class from the 43rd case. She is the 7th local transmission and is the second case from the same school.
Meanwhile, the authorities are trying to trace passengers who shared the school van with the first SRK Assunta 2 girl who contracted influenza A (H1N1).
The 11-year-old girl, who was Malaysia’s 43rd patient of the flu, was warded at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital on June 19 and confirmed positive the following day.
SRK Assunta 2 Parent-Teachers Association chairman Shaharom Mohd Adas, who spent the entire morning in a meeting with education department and health department officers, said the pupils of the van would be quarantined once located.
“Not all the students on the van are from this school, so it is important to trace them. They have identified the van driver, so they will place him under home quarantine,” he told reporters.
All 35 classmates of the infected 11-year-old, plus her classmate, had been placed under home quarantine, while the classroom, 5 Hebat, had been sealed off.
According to the Health Ministry, the girl had contracted the flu while on holiday in Melbourne with her family.
Her 14-year-old sibling and 42-year-old mother had also tested positive for the flu, while another three relatives are under home quarantine.
About half of SRK Assunta 2’s students were absent from school on Monday, as most parents opted to be cautious.
Dozens of pupils returned home early, some as early as 8am, after their parents learned about the flu case.
Meanwhile, in Shah Alam, State health, plantation workers, poverty and caring government committee chairman Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the Selangor government is putting in place action committees in all districts to deal with influenza A (H1N1).
He said district officers would chair the H1N1 action committees in their respective areas.
He said all the district offices have been briefed by the state health officials and were preparing arrangements that needed to be done.
Selangor was getting ready for all possibilities and the committees would monitor all districts to ensure proper coverage of areas if there was a further outbreak, he said.
They were going to start to gather necessary arms in the government to be prepared in order to prevent further exposure, he told a press conference after the state governments monthly assembly at Dewan Jubli Monday.
Dr Xavier said the state government was working in collaboration with the Selangor Health Department, local councils other related authorities to monitor and take preventive measures.
He said three students in Selangor had been confirmed to have been infected with the virus so far, one each in Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya and Damansara.
Infection in the state was contained and no schools were closed at the moment, however, Dr Xavier advised those who had contact with the patients such as classmates, students went on the same bus or car to be home quarantined.
It is very important to follow the guidelines by the health officials as far as the disease was concerned, he said.
Dr Xavier said all the patients including the suspected cases were quarantined at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah and Sungai Buloh Hospitals.
He advised visitors to the hospitals needed to protect themselves and postpone casual visits.
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