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188 secondary schools in Sarawak to reopen after 3-month COVID-19 closure

 

KUCHING After about three months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 188 secondary schools in Sarawak will reopen tomorrow, involving 34,306 Form Five students and 6,782 Upper 6 students.

 

Sarawak Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong said he was satisfied with the preparations made to ensure that the learning process for the students would go smoothly, he told reporters here today.

 

Meanwhile, in Hulu Baram, among the rural areas of the state, more than 100 students will start their school session tomorrow at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Long Lama and SMK Datuk Temenggong Oyong Lawai Jau in Long San.

 

 

 

Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau said a number of teachers at both schools had also undergone quarantine for the past two weeks in Miri and tested negative for COVID-19 and have been allowed to return to work.

 

“The bad weather in Baram has made the logging roads in the area a little slippery and I ask parents sending their children back to school to be more careful while driving,” he said.

 

Meanwhile, in KOTA KINABALU, several Form Five students from the rural and remote areas of Sabah are ready to return to their respective schools tomorrow.

 

 

A Form Five student of SMK Nabawan II, Sherrylyana Pinikit said she was prepared mentally and physically besides ensuring she was in optimum health.

 

“With the school reopening, I can directly consult my teachers if I do not understand a topic or subject as explanation via online learning is sometimes interrupted due to unstable Internet connection, besides there is trouble uploading multiple assignments on the phone.

 

“Hence, after this I can focus on my lessons and prepare myself for the upcoming SPM examination,”  she said when contacted by Bernama here today.

 

According to her, the school has also made a simulation video to showcase standard operating procedures (SOP) in the new normal  including social distancing practices that have been uploaded on YouTube as a guide for students.

 

A Form Five student from SMK Gadong, Beaufort, Md Aidil Azim said it was time to refresh subjects  that were difficult to understand via online learning during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

 

Another Form Five student, Najwa Hasan, from SMK Pekan Kuala Penyu, said she was glad school was reopening because it would be easy for her to hold discussions with teachers, not to mention that her preparation for the SPM was still not enough.

 

Meanwhile in SEREMBAN, 20,954 Form Five and Six students, including boarding schools across Negeri Sembilan comprising 124 schools, will start the school session tomorrow, said State Education  director Md Fiah Md Jamin.

 

 

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Private care centres urged to help staff undergo COVID-19 screening – Fatimah

 

KUCHING, The private elderly care centres are encouraged to assist all of their staff to undergo COVID-19 screening test even though it is not required for them to do so, said Sarawak Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

 

She said the test was important as elderly people were at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19.

 

“It is compulsory for the staff of government institutions to undergo the screening and for the private institutions, although the staff have to pay for it, but we encourage them to do so,” she told reporters after visiting Rumah Seri Kenangan here today.

 

 

 

She added that strict actions including immediate closure could be imposed if private care centres failed follow the standard operating procedures (SOP) during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period.

 

Monitoring would continue to ensure that senior care centres, nurseries and kindergartens in the state fully complied with the SOP, she said.

 

 

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

 

COVID-19:16 new cases, no deaths – Health D-g

KUALA LUMPUR The total number of active cases with COVID-19 infectivity has continued to drop and the current figure stands at 295 cases, with 16 new cases reported.

 

There were no fatalities reported today, keeping the death toll at 121 or 1.42 per cent of the total number of cases.

 

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the cumulative figure for positive cases was 8,572, of which three are imported cases which were infected overseas – two involving Malaysians and one a permanent resident.

 

 

 

“For the 13 local transmissions, nine cases involved non-Malaysians and only four involved Malaysians,” he said in a statement today.

 

Dr Noor Hisham said of the nine cases involving non-Malaysians, six cases were from the Pedas cluster in Negeri Sembilan; two cases were from close contacts with case 8,513 from a cleaning services company cluster in Selangor; and one case was from an individual at the Tawau Temporary Detention Centre in Sabah who underwent screening before being sent back to Indonesia.

 

As for the local transmissions involving four Malaysians, two of them were close contacts with case 8,535 from the Kidurong cluster in Sarawak; one who had just been sent to a lock-up in Melaka and one who underwent a pre-surgery screening at a hospital in Johor.

 

 

He added that 10 patients had recovered and were discharged today, bringing the total number of recoveries to 8,156 cases or 95.1 percent of the case tally.

 

“Currently, three COVID-19 cases are being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU), but non are in need of ventilator support.” he said.

 

Meanwhile, he reminded the public to get the latest and verified COVID-19 information only from reliable sources.

 

For that, the public can visit the COVID-19 website at http://covid-19.moh.gov.my/, which has gone live since May 5. The website has about 60,000 users thus far and is ranked first in Google’s search engine.

 

“Further information on COVID-19 in the country can also be obtained via the Health Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) of the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the MOH’s Health Education Section website,” he explained.

 

He said that until yesterday, statistics from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), there was no increase in the number of new investigation papers opened by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and MCMC in over three weeks.

 

“This shows that there is an increase in awareness among the society on the importance of not sharing fake news,” he said.

 

 

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

 

COVID-19: New cluster at Kuala Selangor old folks home – MOH

 

 

PUTRAJAYA The Ministry of Health (MOH) has detected a new COVID-19 cluster involving a senior citizen care centre in Kuala Selangor after three positive cases were detected so far.

 

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said two positive cases were detected on May 17 through screenings at the home while the third case was tested positive through Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) screening when the patient was admitted to Tanjung Karang Hospital on June 13.

 

“This was the second test for the (third case) patient as the patient was tested negative during the first screening at the old folks home,” he said in the daily media conference on COVID-19 here today.

 

 

 

Dr Noor Hisham said to date, 12 workers and 26 residents were tested with all staff and other 24 residents tested negative.

 

“Active case detection is underway and preventive measures have been taken including disinfection and decontamination,” he added.

 

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham also noted that 3,692,287 users had signed up for the MySejahtera mobile application since it was launched on April 20.

 

 

The application has been improved with a ‘Check-in’ feature on June 1 and is widely used since June 6, he explained.

 

“This new function has been well received as in just 13 days, 119,837 business premises have registered for the QR codes while 10,006,857 check-ins have been registered across the nation,” he said.

 

 

 

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

 

 

COVID-19: Screenings to go on despite single digit cases – Health DG

The Ministry of Health (MOH) will continue to conduct COVID-19 screenings, despite having achieved single digit positive cases, for three consecutive days.

 

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said screenings were ongoing as usual, including for the identified target groups.

 

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the public must adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP) outlined by the government during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

 

 

 

 

“We will continue to monitor the situation and if we can return to the norm for example and without any surge in cases, then I think that is the balance that we want to achieve…but we need to step up in terms of surveillance in the hospital and among the community.

 

“We must  make sure that there is no sudden increase of cases although we have reopened the economic, social and education sectors,” he said at the daily press conference on COVID-19 today.

 

He said the MOH will continue to monitor the local transmission of the virus to make sure it is under control before moving to the next step which is to focus on the international border.

 

 

Dr Noor Hisham said apart from looking into the global index, Malaysia would consider discussing the agreed SOP between neighbouring countries like Singapore, Brunei and Thailand, before lifting the border restriction.

 

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said today saw the end of two more clusters namely the Selangor Mansion and the Sabah IPT clusters and with that, a total of  34 clusters have ended.

 

 

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

 

COVID-19: Thailand plans to reopen more high-risk business next

BANGKOK  Thailand plans to reopen more high-risk business and venues including schools, outdoor sports facilities, amusement parks and playgrounds under its fourth phase of relaxation as the kingdom continues to report no local transmission of COVID-19 in the last 16 days.

 

However, entertainment outlets including pubs, bars and karaoke will remain closed.

 

Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Thaweesilp Wissanuyothin said Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan o-cha would be chairing the CCSA meeting on Friday to finalise the list of businesses and venues to resume operation starting June 15.

 

 

 

The draft plan included international schools and tuition centres while public schools will reopen on July 1, as they are on term holidays.

 

The proposal includes reopening of amusement parks, playgrounds and kindergarten, daycare centres for children and elderly people, conference and seminars, sports and outdoor activities. However, all sports competition will be without spectators.

 

Besides that, restaurants and hotels are allowed to serve alcohol while herbal spa and sauna are expected to resume business with limited number of visitors.

 

 

Meanwhile, local media reported that the night curfew which now runs from 11 pm to 3 am could be lifted for 15 days as a trial.

 

Deputy Army chief General Nathapol Nakpanit said state of emergency will remain to prevent COVID-19 outbreak in the kingdom.

 

“Without the curfew people can resume their normal lives, but the state of emergency will remain in place in case the government needs to take swift action to stop Covid-19 from spreading,” he was quoted by the Bangkok Post.

 

 

 

 

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

 

Three cosmetic products found to contain mercury – Health DG

 

KUALA LUMPUR The Health Ministry is advising the public to stop using and buying three cosmetic products that have been found to contain scheduled poison, namely mercury, which can be harmful to health.

 

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement today said, the products are Glow Skin White-Brightening Cream, Glow Skin White-Sun Care and Rzac Beauty Creme 2.

 

He said the products’ notifications had been cancelled and they were no longer allowed to be sold in the country.

 

 

 

“Mercury is prohibited in cosmetics products because it can be harmful to health. It can be absorbed into the body and cause damage to the kidneys and nervous system.

 

“The substance can also disrupt brain development of young or unborn children and causes rashes, irritation and other changes to the skin,” he said.

 

As such, sellers and distributors of these cosmetic products are required to immediately stop sales and distribution of these products.

 

 

Dr Noor Hisham stressed that the sale and distribution of these cosmetic products violated the Control Of Drugs And Cosmetics Regulations 1984.

 

He said those who violate the regulation could be fined not more than RM25,000 or face a maximum of three years imprisonment, or both, for the first offence and could be fined not more than RM50,000 or a maximum of five years imprisonment, or both, for subsequent offences.

 

“Companies which commit the offence could be fined up to RM50,000 the first time and RM100,000 for subsequent offences,” he said.

 

Dr Noor Hisham also advised members of the public who have been using the products to immediately stop and seek advice from health professionals if they experience any discomfort or adverse effects.

 

Consumers are encouraged to check the notification status of a cosmetic product at the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA)’s offical website www.npra.gov.my or through the ‘NPRA Product Status’ application that can be downloaded at Google Play Store.

 

 

Source: BERNAMA News Agency