PUTRAJAYA : There was an increase in COVID-19 cases among students and educators due to the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission during mass gatherings following schooling sessions began on 9th and 10th January 2022.
Director General of Health, Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said, from 1st January to 25th January 2022, there were a total of 107 COVID-19 clusters in the education category involving 4,633 cases.
Dr. Noor Hisham added, a significant increase was recorded after the opening of the school session in 2022 compared to the school session in 2021.
“At Epidemiology Week (ME) 1 of 2022, there were only three education clusters recorded. However, an increase in clusters was seen at the beginning of the school session in the 2nd ME where 15 clusters were recorded and an increase of 313 per cent in the 3rd ME. At the 4th ME, as of 25th January 2022, a total of 26 more education clusters were reported,” Dr. Noor Hisham said in a statement here today.
According to Dr. Noor Hisham, overall, out of 107 education clusters, the category of educational institutions of the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) contributed the highest number of 56 clusters (52.3%) followed by other education categories (24.3%), higher education category (20.6%), and private educational institutions registered MOE (2.8%).
Meanwhile Dr. Noor Hisham said, of the total 4,633 cases of the education clusters, a total of 4,092 cases (88.3%) had completed the COVID-19 vaccine and 112 cases (2.4%) had received the booster dose.
“The majority of cases reported were only mild symptoms (categories 1 and 2) which was 99.7 per cent (4,621 cases) while only 0.2% (12 cases) were comprised of categories 3 and 4. All 12 cases are now in stable condition and being treated at health facilities,” Dr. Noor Hisham added.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) in the statement also said, based on the results of the investigation conducted by the District Health Office (PKD) on the reported cases and clusters, this incident is due to:
- Non-compliance with SOPs of educational institution staff while in school and outside formal school hours especially when in dormitories;
- Individuals with late symptoms were detected and were still attending class;
- Pupils quarantined at school do not comply with quarantine instructions and procedures;
- Public focus areas are not regularly cleaned and disinfected; and
- Unsatisfactory ventilation systems in classrooms and dormitories.
The MOH has outlined several COVID-19 screening guidelines for the education sector in the National COVID-19 Testing Strategy. Multi-agency primary and preschools need to conduct a COVID-19 detection test using RTK-Ag on 10% of the cohort of students attending school on a weekly basis.
Dr. Noor Hisham stressed that testing needs to be monitored by the school and PKD. The purpose of this activity was to detect early COVID-19 cases among school children. –Malaysia World News