ANN/THE STAR – Primary and secondary schools have the highest influenza transmission in the country and recorded the most clusters this week, said Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khairy said a total of 213 clusters were reported at primary and secondary schools, followed by 16 clusters at kindergartens.
The number of cases reported this year, he added, was evidently more than the same period last year. “If we look at the 29th epidemiological week (July 17 to 22) which is this week, four clusters were reported, a rise from the 169 total cumulative clusters reported last year.
“So it means that this year we recorded a significant increase.
“This is due to the movement control order ending, schools and preschools resuming, and so this exposes people and children who might have low immunity levels after being confined at home for two years, to the virus,” he said yesterday.
However, no deaths were reported so far. “They got the flu similar to seasonal flu but it has yet to cause any death.
“Now I am trying to make sure that we have enough medicines, that is why we released the government reserve handled by
Pharmaniaga so that private clinics can buy (medicines) starting with paracetamol because there are shortages at private clinics,” he said after officiating the opening of the Hematogenix, the country’s first central oncology laboratory in clinical research.
He advised parents, teachers and caretakers to maintain cleanliness. “The message that we wish to send to parents, teachers and caretakers is to maintain cleanliness, especially for the children and themselves,” he said.
“Children with symptoms should not be sent to school, should seek treatment immediately and wear masks when indoors unless during meals or speaking in public.”