Exams loom but children can’t go to schools due to lockdown

ALOR SETAR: Life is hard for a family in Kubang Pasu as the lockdown has deprived their two children of their education. One is sitting for the SPM examination in January.

Civil servant Norsiyati Mat Hanafi, 44, said she had mixed feelings on the closure of schools as it might affect her children’s preparations for the examination.

One, a fifth former, has already missed school from March 8 to June 23 during the movement control order (MCO).

“I think the decision to close schools in the area is important for the children’s health and safety, ” she said.

“But it would be best if the authorities can give priority to those who are preparing for their SPM examination.

“The affected schools can ensure that students follow strict standard operating procedures while they are in school.”

Norsiyati said she had two daughters, aged 13 and 17, at SMK Hosba, which was among five schools that were ordered to be closed from Sunday for 28 days following the implementation of a targeted enhanced MCO.

The others are SK Hosba, SMK Megat Dewa, SK Megat Dewa and SK Kubang Palas.

Norsiyati, who lives in Asun, which is about 5km away from the targeted enhanced MCO area, also has a six-year-old son, whose kindergarten was ordered to close following the spread of Covid-19 involving the Sivagangga cluster in the district.

“If the outbreak cannot be controlled, the radius of the lockdown might be expanded, ” Norsiyati said.

“For now, we can still move around.”

Meanwhile, state health and local government committee chairman Datuk Dr Mohd Hayati Othman said currently, residents in the four sub-districts could still move about.

“Shops within the area are still open. There is no instruction from the Health Ministry to suspend any operation in the area.

“What they can’t do is to go further than the targeted enhanced MCO area, ” he said.

Asked why the restaurant owner, who returned from India, was placed under home quarantine instead of a controlled centre, Dr Hayati said that since June, the government had been relaxing the rules on quarantine for returnees who test negative upon arrival.

He said the restaurant owner should not have roamed around freely and only stayed in his own home as instructed.

However, Dr Hayati said the National Security Council would open a quarantine centre in Kedah, adding that the state authority would control the movement of people entering Kedah, especially Kubang Pasu.

The sub-districts that are placed under the targeted enhanced MCO are Mukim Ah, Mukim Hosba and Mukim Binjal in Kubang Pasu, and Kampung Ulu and Padang Sanai in Mukim Padang Terap.

Of the 21 cases linked to the Sivagangga cluster, which was first reported on July 28, there were two schoolchildren aged seven and 10.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that the police had mounted six roadblocks in this district as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus from the cluster.

Kubang Pasu deputy police chief DSP Chien Chunng Tsaur said one roadblock was set up in Kodiang and five others were mounted in Changlun.

Chien said police might also seek reinforcements from other agencies if the need arose, adding that they will also conduct patrols to ensure residents comply with all directives.

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sivagangga cluster , covid-19 , kedah , kubang pasu


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