As the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) continues to spread across the country, a total of 180 Community Development Department (Kemas) preschools and nurseries were ordered to close as of Friday (27 May).
According to Bernama, Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the closure involved 105 preschools while the remaining are nurseries throughout the country, except for Negri Sembilan and Melaka.
“The move to close the premises was made based on advice and recommendations by the Health Ministry as each case detected will be reported to the authorities.”
“These premises will be closed for 10 days and appropriate actions, including disinfection, will be carried out by Kemas officials,” he said.
Mahdzir said that during the closure period, home-based teaching and learning sessions will be conducted based on the experience during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also gave assurance that Kemas will monitor developments and take proactive measures to address the spread of the disease on their premises, based on standard operating procedures set by the Health Ministry.
He said that body temperature scanning and inspection for other HFMD symptoms such as rashes or blisters on the skin, fever and mouth ulcer, will be carried out at the entrances of the premises.
“We hope all parents will assist us to curb the spread of HFMD by ensuring their children are healthy and do not have any symptoms. If the siblings have symptoms, then parents should not send their children to nurseries or preschools as a preventive measure,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that as of 25 May, the ministry has recorded a total of 57,510 cases of HFMD cases in the country.
He said that this was a staggering increase of 24 times over the same period last year, in which 2,333 cases were recorded.
Khairy advised the public to take care of their personal hygiene and practice washing their hands with soap and water after going to the toilet, changing diapers, and treating blisters.
Meanwhile, he also urges parents to not send their children who have been infected by HFMD to school to prevent spreading the virus.