PETALING JAYA, 23 June 2009: School staff should check the temperatures of students every day before class to help prevent the spread of Influenza A(H1N1), said Gerakan’s public health and social development central bureau head Datuk Dr Ng Keong Chye.
Checking temperatures daily would allow school staff to identify sick children and send them to a hospital or clinic, Ng said in a statement today. This, he added, would minimise the risk of sick children infecting others.
“The government should provide the facilities including thermometers to schools and kindergartens for the teachers and even helpers to take the reading,” he said.
There are now 69 confirmed cases of Influenza A(H1N1) in Malaysia and seven cases of local transmission. Ten new cases, two of which were local transmissions, were reported today.
Three Malaysian schools have been closed after students tested positive for the disease. Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai announced the most recent closure at the Seri Cempaka International School in Kuala Lumpur earlier today. Three additional schools have had one class stopped since Monday.
Ng also suggested that school staff and students who have traveled to countries with high levels of Influenza A(H1N1) voluntarily quarantine themselves for a week.
Ng joins a growing number of Malaysian officials calling for stepped-up measures to combat the spread of Influenza A(H1N1).
Education director-general Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom has also suggested school authorities take the temperature of staff and students daily. Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican has urged voluntary quarantine for students returning from high-risk countries.
Taking temperatures and distributing face masks would be extra work for teachers, Ng said, but it would be worth it if it limited the spread of the disease.