PUTRAJAYA: Standard operating procedures (SOP) in hostels will be improved to avoid Covid-19 infections, which have contributed to the number of Covid-19 clusters involving educational institutes, says Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said his ministry is working together with the Education Ministry to look at how SOP in hostels and schools in general can be improved.
“We noted that when in hostels, the students do not use face masks and do not look after self hygiene. This needs to change.
“We also want to improve the conditions in the dormitories, classes and other school facilities such as laboratories,” he said at a press conference on Monday (Feb 7).
On whether schools will be closed due to the rising number of clusters, Khairy said that risk evaluation is ongoing and is done on a school-by-school basis.
“If need be, we will close classes but not the whole school. That will be the last resort.
“The effect of such a move is big on the children. In fact, we are one of the countries with the longest school closures,” he added.
The Health Ministry is of the view that, for now, we should carry out risk evaluation at the school level. Those who test positive for Covid-19 should not attend school and, if necessary, we will ask that only the classes be shut down, not the whole school because this will affect their personality and intellectual development,” he said.
For epidemiology week 5 (Jan 30-Feb 5), a total of 52 new clusters involving educational institutions were reported, a decline of 35.8% compared to the previous week, which reported 81 new clusters.