KUALA LUMPUR: SJK (C) Jalan Davidson at Jalan Hang Jebat here has been closed for a week after two local transmissions of the influenza A(H1N1) virus were detected in the school.
Two other schools with infected students – SRK Assunta 2 in Petaling Jaya and SM Section 9 Shah Alam – will also be closed if authorities discover local transmission of the virus there.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said eight cases of the virus were confirmed yesterday, including five schoolchildren – an 11-year-old from SRK Assunta 2, a 16-year-old from SM Shah Alam, and three at Class 5 I of SJK(C) Jalan Davidson.
He said all 2,100 students and staff members of SJK(C) Jalan Davidson had been home quarantined, after the National Security Council chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin agreed to close the school until Friday.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with the school board and parent-teacher association (PTA) here yesterday, Liow said the quarantined students and staff members were not allowed to visit public or crowded places. Students would also have to skip tuition classes for a week.
“They should also have less contact with their family members. They are quarantined but not their families,” he said.
“This action is necessary to prevent more cases among the students and staff members. They must stay at home and follow the advice the ministry has provided,” he added.
Liow said the two 11-year-olds from SJK (C) Jalan Davidson who were the 49th and 50th cases in the country, contracted the virus from a classmate who tested positive on Friday after recently returning from a vacation in Melbourne.
PTA chairman Dr Lai Boon Hai said several members would be on standby at the school from 6.30am today to give out information on the closure and inform as many students and their parents as possible.
“All PTA members are fully behind the decision by the ministry to close the school for one week. It’s for the safety of the children,” he said.
Liow said anyone who fell sick or had a fever must inform the Federal Territory Health Department at 03-2698 3757 or 019-229 9397. The department has a health officer on 24-hour standby.
“At the same time, practise good hygiene and cleanliness by covering your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Also, wash your hands with soap,” he said.
On whether sterilisation of the school areas was needed, Liow said it was not necessary as the virus could only survive in the open for a maximum of eight hours.
Earlier, when opening an A(H1N1) awareness campaign in Batu 11, Cheras, organised by the Serdang MCA division, Liow said the ministry’s guidelines recommended schools to be closed if a local transmission was detected.
Among the new cases reported yesterday was a 33-year-old Thai national who is crew member on a cargo ship which anchored at Port Klang on June 19.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said the man was found to have been ill since June 17 and he and 22 other crew members were under quarantine on board the vessel.
The patient was later sent to the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang after he tested positive for the virus, Dr Ismail added.
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