Covid-19: Placing children in daycare centres similar to holding a mass gathering, says Health D-G

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that the ministry is still examining new and innovative ways to allow pre-schools to reopen. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that the ministry is still examining new and innovative ways to allow pre-schools to reopen. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — Despite receiving numerous requests from parents to allow daycare centres to reopen, the Health Ministry remains very apprehensive about the issue and is keen to study the matter further before reaching a decision.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah told the daily Covid-19 press conference today that the ministry is still examining new and innovative ways to allow pre-schools to reopen.

“We are studying the requests and the Health Ministry is very concerned and worried about managing the children there. There are still outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease at these centres.

“Infections happen easily at these centres — unless we limit how the children are looked after... maybe a one-on-one or a special care facility.

“But if we assemble all the children in one location, that becomes a gathering and that worries the ministry.

“We are considering new innovative methods before we can give a final decision. Currently, there is no decision even though we have received a lot of requests. We must make sure they are safe before we can allow them to reopen,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

After many economic sectors have been allowed to operate during the conditional movement control order (CMCO) period, many parents have requested for childcare centres to re-open as they return to work.

Putrajaya has decided that no schools or other educational institutions are allowed to operate barring online or digital lessons.

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