Pupils undergo tests after teacher down with virus

GEORGE TOWN: The 22 pupils of a kindergarten in Penang have been ordered to undergo Covid-19 tests after a teacher tested positive for the coronavirus.

The kindergarten will be closed for one week and reopen on Jan 10 to allow for the incubation period and make it safe for the children to return to their physical classes.

Thorough cleaning: A teacher disinfecting a classroom table after one of the kindergarten teachers tested positive for Covid-19.Thorough cleaning: A teacher disinfecting a classroom table after one of the kindergarten teachers tested positive for Covid-19.

Parent KT Goh, 52, said his daughter was not feeling well on Sunday and showed symptoms of a fever and common flu.

“We did not think much of it and took her to a clinic, where the doctor diagnosed her as having a normal cold.

“However, later that day I was informed that my daughter’s class teacher had tested positive for Covid-19.

“I was worried for her safety and quickly sent her for a Covid-19 test which came back negative,” he said, adding that the rest of the family was all fine.

A representative from the kindergarten said all precautionary measures have been taken at the centre after the teacher came down with Covid-19.

“The teacher’s father met with an accident and she went to visit him on Dec 25.

“She tested herself twice at home but was negative for Covid-19 before returning to work.

“A few days ago, her parents tested positive for Covid-19 and she started showing the symptoms. She tested positive for Covid-19 on Jan 1,” said the representative.

The representative also said all the parents have been notified and the 22 children at the kindergarten needed to be tested.

“All 12 teachers will be tested as well. So far, only one pupil has shown symptoms.

“Representatives from the Health Ministry have come to check our centre and the place has been sanitised by professionals.

“For now, the teachers have also sanitised the premises as well,” she said.

Meanwhile, state health committee chairman Dr Norlela Ariffin said with things going back to normal, the only way to avoid being susceptible to Covid-19 would be to get a booster dose.

“We are now pushing for the booster dose to give added protection.

“Being vaccinated does not mean that you will not get infected if exposed to Covid-19, but it is less severe if you do get it.

“We have shortened the booster dose period to give people the added protection.

“In the meantime, everyone can do their part to keep safe and test themselves from time to time,” she said.

Norlela said there was a surge in those who came to get their booster dose on Monday.

“It has been slow. But on Jan 3, the vaccination centres were packed. We were hoping to reach a target of over 500,000 Penangites having received their booster dose by Dec 31.

“It is still at over 300,000 for now,” she said.

On the two Omicron variant cases detected in the state, Norlela said the patients were Category 1 cases and were currently being quarantined in a hospital.

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