KUCHING: Boarding school and university students in Sarawak's Covid-19 red zones can now return home following the extended closure of educational institutions in the state.
The state disaster management committee said the students previously had to remain in their hostels or on campus when educational institutions in red zones were ordered to close for two weeks from April 20 to May 3.
The committee then announced on Wednesday (April 28) that all schools and educational institutions in red zones would remain closed for a further week until May 10.
"After the decision to extend the closure, the committee will allow students in hostels to go home without having to take a PCR test," it said in a statement on Thursday (April 29).
This came after the Education Ministry decided that all schools will conduct home-based teaching and learning for two weeks after the Hari Raya Aidilfitri school holidays from May 8-16.
Meanwhile, the committee said Sarawak reported 522 new Covid-19 cases and two fatalities on Thursday, taking the state's tally to 29,899 cases with 173 deaths.
It said 452 of the cases were detected through screening of close contacts and active clusters, while there was one imported case involving an individual returning from another state in Malaysia.
The committee added that six new clusters were identified in the state, including two linked to the education sector.
The Tabuan Jaya cluster, which involves a secondary school in Kuching, has 22 confirmed cases so far among the school's staff and students.
In Miri, the Sains Bakam cluster currently has 17 infections which spread through gotong royong and terawih prayers at a secondary school at Jalan Bakam.