KJ EXPLAINS SPIKE IN CORONAVIRUS SCHOOL CLUSTERS !
PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR: Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has identified several factors to explain the rise in COVID-19 clusters in schools.
He said the main factor was non-compliance with SOPs during and outside school hours, particularly in boarding schools.
" Students and staff are not wearing masks in school, physical distancing is not practised during religious activities in mosque, and students do not inform supervisors when they are symptomatic," he said at press conference on Thursday, January 20, 2022.
He added that teachers who experienced COVID-19 symptoms still showed up at class, increasing the rate of infection.
Khairy Jamaluddin pointed out that some of these schools had poor ventilation and areas that students often gathered were not disinfected regularly.
" A total of 579,624 COVID-19 cases between January 25, 2020 and January 19, 2021 comprised individuals below 18 years, and of those cases, 269,773 were children between five and 11," he said.
The total death toll of individuals below 18 years was 14, 431 of whom were children between five and 11 years.
" Lately, there has been a rise in COVID-19 infections among children and the Omicron variant spreads faster and has the potential to infect both children and adults," he said.
Hostels will not be closed despite COVID-19 cases reported at these premises because 90% of children aged 12 to 17 years have been vaccinated, Khairy said.
He said those with mild symptoms will remain isolated in hostels or at home as the ministry has no intentions to carry out of a " blanket ban ".
On recent reports of syndicates selling fake digital vaccination certificates, KJ said it involved vaccination centres run by private health operators who purchased their own vaccines.
" An on-going probe shows that individuals bought the vaccines but were not jabbed.
My ministry is looking at tightening SOPs and further spot checks will be carried out at these premises to keep them on guard," he added.
On claims in social media of deaths linked to COVID-19 booster jabs, Khairy J. said his ministry would probe the matter.
Families are also told to do a post mortem to confirm the reason of death following any adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) report, he added.
Meanwhile, KJ said 90% of imported cases are those of the Omicron variant and it is a " matter of time before Omicron overtakes other variants " in Malaysia.
" We may seen a rise in CORONAVIRUS cases in February and March 2022, " he added.
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@ Jackie San