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KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — The Ministry of Health (MOH said today it is confident that the standard operating procedures (SOP) for schools when it reopens will be enough to control the Covid-19 infection rate.
Its director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah told the ministry’s daily Covid-19 press conference that the guidelines are ready and will be announced to parents and students two weeks before schools reopen.
“The guidelines are ready and it is with the Education Ministry. We can always improve the guidelines from time to time. Yesterday I went to a school to see the implementation. Our priority, if we reopen will be for students in Forms Five and Six who are sitting for their exams.
“Two weeks before schools reopen, we will announce the guidelines to parents and students. But right now, we have not decided when to reopen the schools but the guidelines are ready,” he said.
“Looking at the implementation, we are confident the SOPs can control the infection,” he added.
He then quoted a study by the New England Journal of Medicine which found that if social distancing is implemented, it can reduce up to 60 per cent of the infection rate.
Dr Noor Hisham elaborated that since there is no vaccine at the moment, the best vaccine is social distancing adding that even though the minimum distance is one metre, it is better if the public practices a social distancing of more than one metre.
The greater the distance between individuals, the less chance the virus has the potential to spread.
He added that even though school canteens will open, students are not allowed to dine in the canteen area.
“The children will not eat in the canteen. Instead, they will queue, one metre apart, pick up their food and head straight to their classrooms to dine. There is already social distancing measures in the classrooms,” said Dr Noor Hisham.
Earlier today, Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said the school reopening management guidelines will be distributed tomorrow to allow schools and teachers to make appropriate preparation.
He said detailed guidelines for the movement of students in the school compound, from the time they arrived until they left for home, were formulated in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the National Security Council.