Malaysia – According to Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, there has been a substantial rise in the number of Covid-19 education clusters recently, with 92 recorded in the most recent epidemiological week (ME) 7/2022.
He said that 61 education clusters were registered the week before (ME6).
From January 1 to February 19, the Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) registered 367 education clusters, 346 of which are still operating and 21 of which have stopped, he added.
According to a statement released recently, there was a decrease trend in ME5 owing to the Chinese New Year vacations, but the numbers increased in ME6 and ME7 in response to the overall increase in Covid-19 cases.
Kelantan (54 clusters), Selangor (49), Pahang (38), Kuala Lumpur (37) and Sabah (37) were the states with the most education clusters, according to Dr Noor Hisham (34).
“Investigations revealed that students were the index cases in 328 clusters (89.4%), while professors or lecturers were involved in 31 instances (8.5%).
“Furthermore, six clusters (1.6%) contained index cases from support employees, and two (0.6%) involved family members,” he said.
He went on to say that the majority of instances recorded were minor or asymptomatic.
He claimed that 12,579 infections (76.54%) were classified as category two, 3,850 as category one (23.4%), and 35 as categories three and four (0.2%), adding that all patients had been treated and were in stable condition.
“The Ministry of Education (MOE), Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), Maahad Tahfiz, and other agencies are also participating,” he stated.
According to Dr. Noor Hisham, a total of 232 secondary school clusters and 25 elementary school clusters remained operational as of February 19.
“Of them, 107 schools were temporarily shuttered for cleaning and transformed into quarantine zones, while 150 schools just needed class cancellations.”
“Investigations revealed that various variables contributed to Covid-19 infection and spread. Non-compliance with standard operating procedures (SOP), unrestricted mobility of students, intimate contact in dorms, and a variety of other issues are among them,” he stated.
Dr. Noor Hisham suggested that students be screened for Covid-19 on a regular basis, that students with symptoms be identified quickly, and that all places have adequate ventilation.
Meanwhile, the National CPRC revealed that 6,704 Covid-19 clusters were discovered between January 25, 2020 and February 19, 2022. There were 6,212 clusters total, with 492 remaining active.
The workplace (58.71%), community (20.54%), correctional centers (7.63%), and education (58.71%) all had the largest number of clusters (6.83 per cent).