KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 — Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba revealed that the ministry noted a two-fold increase in Covid-19 clusters from the education sector, as of April 17.

He said that 1,515 cumulative clusters were reported as of April 17, out of which 347 are active.

“The breakdown is as follows: 46.9 per cent of clusters were from workplaces, 28.1 per cent from the community, 18.8 per cent from education institutions, 4.7 per cent from detention centres and 1.6 per cent from religious activities in week 15.

“A total of 42 active clusters are from education institutions as of April 17, 2021. It was observed that there was a two-fold increase in the number of clusters from education institutions to 12 in week 15, as compared to six in week 14,” Dr Adham said during the joint press conference today, with Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin.

The press conference was held on day one of the second phase of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP).

Dr Adham announced that up till April 17, a total of 76 localities have been placed under the enhanced movement control order (EMCO), of which 37 areas are in Sabah, 22 in Sarawak, eight in Pahang, four in Kelantan, two areas each in Terengganu and Perak, and one in Melaka.

All schools in Sarawak’s Covid-19 red zones have been ordered to close for two weeks effective tomorrow, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg announced today.

He said he made the decision after studying reports that many Covid-19 cases have emerged in schools.

He said schools in the orange, yellow and green zones will remain open but must strictly comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the state Health Department and the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

The Penang Health Department, meanwhile, said that it will conduct risk assessment on schools with reported Covid-19 cases before deciding on whether to close these temporarily.

State health director Datuk Dr Asmayani Khalib said the department would be notified when any schools in the state have reported Covid-19 cases.

Last week, several isolated cases were reported in a couple of schools in Penang but this was not confirmed by the state Health Department.