SCHOOLS TO BE CLOSED? NOT TRUE – HEALTH DEPT DENIES ORDERING CHINESE SCHOOL IN JOHOR TO STOP CLASSES – EVEN AS IIUM SCRAPS CLASSES, TELLS STUDENTS TO RETURN HOME TO PREVENT SPREAD OF COVID-19

THE Johor Health Department (JKNJ) had never ordered the closure of a national-type (Chinese) school in Johor Baru nor prevented its pupils from attending classes due to the threat of Covid-19 infection, its director Dr Aman Rabu said.

“JKNJ refutes claims that the instruction was the department’s directive,” he said in a statement on the department’s Facebook page yesterday day.

He was commenting on social media posts about a pupil whose parent had been diagnosed Covid-19 positive. According to the posts, the school authorities had stopped classes and prohibited its students from entering the school.

“The school authorities have been receiving unverified information from other sources and is taking preventive measures on its own accord,” he said.

“JKNJ is conducting contact tracing of the Covid-19 case, including taking preventive measures at the family’s residence. Three close contacts have been identified – the patient’s wife and two children, aged six and eight,” he said.

The two children tested negative but were placed under isolation for being positive-case contacts while the patient’s wife was still being examined at the hospital. – Bernama

IIUM scraps classes to prevent spread of Covid-19

CLASSES are cancelled at International Islamic University Malaysia for 10 days beginning today as a precautionary attempt to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Rector Dzulkifli Abdul Razak said all student activities are adjourned.

“Students can return home if they want to. Those staying back must take all measures to ensure they remain safe,” he said in a statement.

The university has prepared two zones to monitor students from China and those who have travelled there in the recent past.

UM has also deferred student registration until the end of the week.

Yesterday Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the virus situation in Malaysia was under control. – THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

Prepare to close schools, stop rallies as Covid-19 spreads, warns WHO

The World Health Organization says countries must be prepared to close schools and stop mass gatherings if necessary to stop the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.

PETALING JAYA: It is time for all countries, including Malaysia, to prepare for the possibility of wider transmission of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific Dr Takeshi Kasai said today.

The World Health Organization representative said the region was at a critical juncture with the virus now confirmed in many parts of the world.

“There are now reports of clusters of cases with no apparent link to China. The latest information suggests that the virus may be more transmissible than early data suggested.

“We must be ready in case there is a wider spread. This requires action today, because preparations take time, especially to ensure that the response reaches everyone in all parts of the country.

He said countries must be ready to make a switch away from testing all suspected cases or tracing the contacts of every person who has the virus to instead applying the limited testing capacity to monitoring geographical spread and trends.

He said this information would affect decisions about the most appropriate public health response.

Kasai said in the case of wider community transmission, countries would need to ensure health facilities can focus on treating the most vulnerable and severe cases.

“This may mean planning to switch away from medically isolating or quarantining everyone who is infected to encouraging people with mild illness to stay at home to recover — so that healthcare facilities do not become overwhelmed.

“Steps must also be taken to ensure health facilities do not become places that amplify the virus’ spread, infecting staff and other patients.

“I understand why people are worried as this is a new disease and there is much we still don’t know. The best thing we can do is to be prepared.”

Kazai said the public can help by frequently washing their hands and, if unwell, staying at home and not risking infecting others.

Kazai said in China, around 2% of the people infected have died. Outside of Hubei province, the death rate among those infected is around 0.4%. – FMT

BERNAMA / THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT/ FREE MALAYSIA TODAY

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