Thestar : Four kindergartens in Bintulu closed

Four kindergartens in Bintulu closed
Monday February 27, 2006

KUCHING: Four kindergartens in Bintulu have closed due to the hand, foot and mouth disease.

The kindergartens, including two run by churches, were directed to close for two weeks by state health director Dr Yao Sik King last Saturday.

More than 210 cases have been reported in Bintulu between Jan 1 and Feb 23 this year compared with 13 during the corresponding period last year.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan, who was briefed by health officials last Friday, said there was a sharp increase in the number of cases this year.

There were some 850 cases (Jan 1 to Feb 23, 2006) statewide compared with 73 during the corresponding period last year.

More than half or 436 cases were reported in Sibu, forcing many parents to stop sending their children to childcare centres or kindergartens in recent weeks.

Three children associated with the disease had died since December.

Dr Chan has assured that the situation was under control, saying that there was no cause for panic.

The outbreak of the disease in 1997 killed 31 children in the state.