Don’t rush, reopen schools only if we are ready, says Zahid
PETALING JAYA: Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has called on Putrajaya to ensure the decision to reopen schools on Oct 3 was made after careful consideration to avoid a repeat of past mistakes.
Although schools are being reopened on the basis that the majority of the population would have been fully vaccinated by then, Zahid said there was still a need to be cautious.
Up till April 26, the health ministry had said 23,739 students under 12 had tested positive, fuelling concerns of further spread of Covid-19 among students.
Two days ago, Sabah had reported an increase in cases among children and teenagers.
It reported that 615 children and teenagers had been infected with the coronavirus. Of this number, 24 were aged below one, 165 were aged one to five while 426 involved those aged six to 17.
Zahid said all possible measures must be taken to avoid the spread of Covid-19 as many schoolchildren had not been vaccinated, adding that although standard operating procedures (SOPs) had been tightened, no one knew whether they would fully protect students.
He said schoolchildren can get easily infected as they tend to mix around freely. As such, parents may hesitate to send their children to school if they feel that the SOPs will not be effective.
“Due to these factors, I call upon the ministry to ensure the decision to reopen schools on Oct 3 is the right one.”
Yesterday, education minister Radzi Jidin said 2,500 teachers had refused to get vaccinated and they will not be allowed to return to school for physical classes.
The teachers concerned had cited health factors and a lack of confidence in the vaccines for their reluctance to get vaccinated.