SIBU: Parents have welcomed the decision to close SJK Methodist until March 26 after a teacher tested positive for Covid-19.
The female teacher who is teaching both the Chinese and Bahasa Melayu language classes was found to have symptoms of the disease.
This prompted Sibu Division Disaster Management Committee coordinator Dr Annuar Rapaee to order the school with over 1,000 students to be closed temporarily for safety reasons.
He said the school had submitted the names of teachers and students who have had close contact with the index case for swab tests on Friday (March 19) at Lanang Health Clinic.
A councillor at Sibu rural district council, Joshua Ting, who has three children studying at the school, welcomed the temporary closure.
"The committee has made the right move, because if any staff or student contracts the disease, the schools should be closed immediately. The school should only be opened after the swab tests of the close contacts are made known," he added.
Ting said the temporary closure of the school was needed as the venue of the Sanyan cluster with 19 cases so far, was located nearby.
"I prefer that the school do online teaching until it is safe for face-to-face learning," he said.
A parent, Jacky Wong, said he did not send his twin daughters to school although it was opened on March 15 as the Covid-19 situation was still not good.
"We have written a letter to the school to apply for leave," he added.
Sibu Municipal Council councillor Albert Tiang, whose daughter is a student of SJK Methodist, said the index case had a high body temperature and was immediately asked to go for a health check.
"The teacher tested positive through the RTK-Antigen test method while she is waiting for the PCR test result now," he added.
Tiang said the teachers and students have been practising strict SOP, and hoped the teacher will get well soon.
Meanwhile, two more schools, SK Abang Ali and SK St Mary, were also ordered to close until March 26 for safety reasons.
The Sibu district education office said eight primary schools had also extended their closure until March 26. They are SK Sungai Durin, SK Ulu Durin Kiba, SK Sungai Naman, SK St Rita, SJK Sacred Heart Chinese, SJK UK Daik, SJK Chung Sing and SK Sentosa.