H1N1: Six Schools, Teaching Institute Closed Today


July 30, 2009 23:58 PM

H1N1: Six Schools, Teaching Institute Closed Today

KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 (Bernama) – Measures to control the spread of influenza A(H1N1) are being further intensified with six schools and a teaching institute asked to close Thursday after students were found to have contracted Influenza A (H1N1) or influenza-like illness (ILI) at them.

Four schools in Pahang – Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Jengka, Maran, Sekolah Menengah Abdul Rahman Talib (SMART), Kuantan, Sekolah Menengah Sains Tengku Abdullah, Raub and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Clifford, Kuala Lipis – were ordered to remain shut until Aug 7.

Pahang Education Department director Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Latif said the action was taken after checks conducted by the Health Department found eight students from the schools were positive for H1N1.

Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Permatang Pasir and Sekolah Agama Al-Iqwan, Teluk Kumbar as well as the Tuanku Bainun Teaching Institute in PENANG were also closed due to the virus, bringing the total number of institutes closed in the state to 22 so far.

Penang Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Pooh said their immediate closure was taken as a precautionary measure to curb the illness spreading to other students.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that 11 National Service (NS) camps in the peninsula were ordered to close for a week as some trainees had shown signs of ILI.

National Service Training Department (JLKN) director-general Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang Kechil, when asked to clarify the matter, said the camps involved were in Mersing, Johor; Tangkas Kendiri, Kuala Kangsar, Perak; Sri Impian, Penang; Merang Suria, Terengganu; Lagenda Gunung Ledang, Asahan, Melaka.

Also included were NS camps in Syruz, Bukit Mertajam, Penang; Rachado Bay, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan; Jiwa Murni, Semanggol, Perak; Peladang, Setiu, Terengganu; Geo Kosmo, Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor and at the Ayer Keroh Recreational Forest, Melaka.

Abdul Hadi said the closure involved 2,478 trainees after 450 were detected with ILI.

There are 83 NS camps nationwide.

“The trainees showed signs of ILI infection after returning from a four-day break starting July 24, after which the number of those infected increased,” Abdul Hadi told reporters after visiting the NS camp in Temasya Rimba Templer near here today.

He said according to the Health Ministry, it was normal procedure to order the closure of a facility if five per cent of the occupants showed fever symptoms and recorded body temperature over 38 degrees Celcius.

He said all trainees were required to report themselves to their respective camps once the closure period was over, except for those given exemptions by a government medical officer.

Visits to NS camps by parents and families were still allowed, but not encouraged, while officers, trainers, management and staff who travel to and from the camps had been asked to ensure they were in good health, he said.

Regarding the NS camp in Temasya Rimba Templer, Abdul Hadi said so far 38 trainees had experienced fever, but only six recorded temperatures of 38 degrees Celcius.

The camp is now being monitored by the Health Department, he added.

Meanwhile, Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said the total number of influenza A(H1N1) infections in Malaysia had reached 1,302 cases, including four deaths.

Of that number, 574 (44 per cent) were imported cases and 728 (56 per cent) were local infectionS.

“From this, 1,272 cases (98 per cent) have recovered, while 19 cases (1 per cent) are still receiving antiviral treatment in hospitals while seven patients had been placed in intensive care units (ICUs). Another 11 cases are receiving antiviral treatment at home,” he said.

In ALOR SETAR, 123 male students of the Medical Assistants College have been quarantined at the Alor Setar Medical Centre for a week starting today, after complaining of fever and sore throat.

However, they had not been confirmed of being infected by H1N1, said Kedah Deputy Director of Health Dr Shahidan Hashim.

The college’s management has been directed to postpone all recreational and educational activities as well as make it compulsory for students and staff to wear masks.

Meanwhile, SARAWAK recorded another 14 new positive Influenza A (H1N1) cases today, bringing the total tally to 116 so far in the state.

However there were no new closures of schools or institutions since yesterday, according to a statement from the State Operations Room at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Petra Jaya.

The statement said that the new cases were in Miri (10) and Samarahan (four) while of the positive cases warded in hospitals, including four in Kuching and two in Miri, the number remained the same.

In SABAH, 10 schools had been asked to close so far due to influenza A (H1N1), said state deputy director of health Dr. Yusof Ibrahim.

He said the state had recorded over 200 individuals positive for the virus, but there had been no fatalities thus far.

The schools ordered to close today are Sekolah Kebangsaan Stella Marris Tanjung Aru, Sekolah Menengah Agama Kota Kinabalu 1 and Sekolah Kebangsaan St. Agnes.

Schools already closed include Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Shan Tao, Sekolah Menengah Bandaraya, SM Agama Kota Kinabalu, SM Sains Lahad Datu, SM Sains Kota Kinabalu, Sekolah Menengah Teknik Lahad Datu, and Sekolah Rendah Tebobon Kota Kinabalu.

All the schools are located here.