PETALING JAYA: All states except for Sarawak have shown an increase in the number of cases just as the Health Ministry held a meeting with other agencies in a bid to curb further spread of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) infections.
From Jan 1 until July 23 this year, a total of 35,886 HFMD cases were reported nationwide, Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement yesterday.
There was a 64.2% increase in the number of HFMD cases for the week of July 15 compared to the previous week of July 8, he said.
Dr Noor Hisham added that 469 premises nationwide had been closed, including 217 nurseries, 223 kindergartens, a few classes from 27 schools and one school each in Penang and Pahang that had been closed completely for now.
The meeting on July 19 was attended by representatives from different agencies that were involved in monitoring nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools, he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said the Education Ministry, Social Welfare Department, National Unity and Integration Department and Housing and Local Government Ministry had agreed to work together with the Health Ministry to resolve the matter.
Measures to be taken included organising awareness campaigns, ensuring clean environments and disinfecting the environment after school or daycare sessions.
“The suggestion to provide hand sanitisers in such places will be looked into and discussed more in terms of its implementation,” he said.
The Government is also granting quarantine leave for civil servants whose children have HFMD.
Dr Noor Hisham said representatives from the Malaysian Employers Federation, who attended the meeting, would look into the legal implications of having such measures implemented by the private sector as well.