PETALING JAYA: The health ministry has detected 107 Covid-19 clusters in various educational institutions since the new year, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.
In a statement, he said the clusters were detected from Jan 1 to Jan 25 and involved 4,633 cases.
While the first week of the year only saw three education clusters, the following week saw 15 clusters. There was then a 313% rise in the third week when 62 clusters were detected.
“Just in the current week alone, 26 new clusters were detected involving educational institutions.
“Educational institutions under the education ministry make up the highest number of clusters with 56 (52.3% of the total), followed by other education categories (24.3%), higher education institutes (20.6%) and private education institutes registered with the ministry (2.8%),” Noor Hisham said.
Of the 4,633 cases reported, 4,092 patients had been fully vaccinated while 112 had received their booster doses. The majority of the cases had mild symptoms, with only 12 cases in Categories 3 and 4.
“All 12 cases are in stable condition and are being treated at health facilities,” he said.
He said preliminary probes by district health offices found that the clusters and infections were all due to non-compliance with Covid-19 SOPs both in classes and dormitories.
“It was also caused by symptomatic persons getting detected late after having already attended classes for days,” he added.
According to Noor Hisham, some students who were quarantined in the schools did not comply with isolation procedures, while there was unsatisfactory disinfection in common areas and poor ventilation in classes and dormitories.
Aside from urging for SOPs to be closely followed, he suggested that students immediately report to their teachers, wardens, or student representatives if they experienced mild Covid-19 symptoms.
“Self-tests conducted at home by students, guided by their parents or caretakers, must be reported to the school,” he added.