KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 19 — The Petaling District Health Office has ordered 19 schools there to close down for disinfection and close contact tracing of students and teachers following several cases of Covid-19.

In a memo sighted by Malay Mail, district health officer Datuk Dr Mohamed Paid Yusof said clusters were found in these schools necessitating the closure, and any reopening will be announced two days prior.

“In order to conduct control and prevention activities the schools mentioned below have been ordered to close so we can do disinfection and close contact tracing as well.

“Failure to follow this order is an offence under Section 22(b) Act 432 and can be subject under Section 24(a) that carries a jail sentence of no more than two years or fines,” said the memo that was only dated April 20021.

Malay Mail has yet to independently verify the memo with the authorities and the schools.

The Health Ministry announced today six new clusters involving educational institutions, but none in Selangor.

Among the schools mentioned were: SAM Bestari Subang (four cases), SMK Puchong Utama 1 (four cases), SK USJ 20 (two cases), and SMK USJ 23 (two cases).

So far, only SJKC Yuk Chai in Taman Megah has confirmed receipt of the memo which ordered it to close from tomorrow onwards.

The memo signed by school head master Chew Hock Jin said lessons will be conducted online and students will be notified by their teachers when classes will start through text messages.

“As for reopening of the school we will notify you when the school gets the necessary information from the district health office,” Chew said in a statement sighted by Malay Mail.

Other schools with one case each were: SMK Bukit Jelutong, SK Puchong Perdana, SK Bandar Baru Sri Damansara 2, SK Bukit Kuchai, SMK Bandar Sri Damansara 2, SK Bandar Sri Damansara 3, SJKC Yuk Chai, SMK Damansara Jaya, SK Bukit Jelutong, SMK Seksyen 7, SMK Puching, SMK Seksyen 4 Bandar Kinrara, SMK Bandar Puncak Jalil, SMK Seksyen 20, and SMK Puchong Perdana.

“The schools must conduct disinfection, ensure all positive cases are quarantined, provide a list of names and contacts to the district health office and all those deemed as close contact must attend their swab test or provide them with their quarantine papers,” Paid added.

Last week, Malay Mail reported that six students tested positive for Covid-19 at SJK (C) Puay Chai 2, a primary school in the upper-middle class neighbourhood of Bandar Utama, Selangor.

Last month, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah disclosed that 41 Covid-19 clusters were linked to the gradual reopening of schools nationwide.

These included 15 in institutions of higher education, 11 in secondary schools, 10 from primary and preschools, and five more from Islamic schools.

Yesterday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said any decision to close schools will be made based on the joint assessment by the District Health Office, Education Ministry, and the state government.