MOH: Primary school pupils to undergo weekly Covid-19 tests


PUTRAJAYA: Starting next week, primary school pupils will be required to undergo weekly Covid-19 tests, said Khairy Jamaluddin.

The Health Minister said this is part of the new National Testing Strategy, which has just been published by the ministry.

“This National Testing Strategy will clearly outline who needs to undergo Covid-19 tests and when, and whether RT-PCR tests or self-tests need to be taken.

“One of the things in the National Testing Strategy is for primary schools – where pupils under the age of eligibility to receive vaccines – must get weekly Covid-19 tests.

“The tests need to be conducted on at least 10% of the pupil population in the school. The pupils will take turns taking tests each week, on a rotation basis,” said Khairy here yesterday.

He said the weekly testing strategy was to prevent the emergence of Covid-19 clusters at schools.

The National Testing Strategy document can be viewed at https://covid-19.moh.gov.my/reopeningsafely/nts.

On another matter, the ministry has clarified that the death of senior officer Dr Chai Koh Meow was due to heart failure and not the Covid-19 vaccination as speculated.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said based on the post-mortem report, Dr Chai’s cause of death was hemopericardium due to coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction.

“The ministry would like to express condolences to Dr Chai’s family and we thank them for allowing us to share the post-mortem results with the public.

“We are deeply saddened by Dr Chai’s passing. He was dedicated and hardworking,” he said.

Khairy said he hoped the clarification would put an end to speculation surrounding Dr Chai’s death.

“If there is a death case caused by vaccination, we will definitely share the findings. We are transparent.

“Hopefully this will stop all speculation and that the public will take booster doses to improve their immunity.

“Studies have shown that the benefit of vaccines far outweighs the risks,” said Khairy.

Dr Chai, who was a senior principal assistant director of the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Division at the ministry, died on Nov 17.

He received his Covid-19 booster dose on Nov 9 and did not report any unusual side effects after receiving the vaccination.

Meanwhile, Khairy said the ministry has approved eight applications for compensation to those who suffered from Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI).

The total amount of compensation to be paid is RM132,500.

Khairy said another 56 applications are currently under evaluation while seven were rejected as they were not categorised as serious AEFI cases.

Under the compensation fund, individuals requiring extended hospitalisation due to a vaccine reaction are eligible for RM50,000, or RM500,000 if this results in permanent disability or death.

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