PETALING JAYA: Nine schools nationwide have been closed due to the recent hand, foot, mouth disease (HFMD) outbreak.
Seven of the schools are in Sabah while the two schools are located in Penang and Pahang, said Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad in a statement on Saturday (July 28).
There have been a total of 37,986 HFMD cases from Jan 1 to Jul 26, he said, with all states except Sarawak showing more cases in 2018 compared to last year, he said.
There have been 1,093 reported outbreaks with 539 premises closed nationwide.
The places closed include 241 nurseries, 259 kindergartens, and 39 schools (which had a few of their classes closed).
Fortunately, Dr Dzulkefly said there had been no reported deaths caused by HFMD for 2018.
Proper hygiene such as washing of hands and ensuring clean premises is vital in controlling HFMD outbreaks, he added.
He said screening at schools and daycare centres, along with disinfection of contaminated surfaces, must be implemented to combat the disease.
“These practices should not only be implemented by operators and teachers at daycare centres, kindergartens and schools, but also by the general public and parents,” he said.
He added that the Health Ministry as well as relevant agencies have started organising campaigns to raise awareness about such practices.
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