MELAKA, May 20 ― Nurseries, kindergartens and childcare centres in Melaka recording more than four cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) will be closed for 10 days in accordance with the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342), said state Health Department (JKNM) director Dr Rusdi Abd Rahman.

Therefore, he urged operators of the premises to immediately report such cases to JKNM.

He said operators who failed to report the matter immediately could be subject to court action under Act 342.

“HFMD can often go away on its own but sometimes it will lead to severe complications like myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle and that is what we fear most.

“If there are more than four cases reported, the premises will be closed and if there are only two cases but we find many children in the premises have fever but no blisters, we will also close the premises,” he told reporters after participating in the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 (PPKHT) enforcement operation here last night.

Dr Rusdi said HFMD cases in Melaka showing an increasing trend and as of Wednesday, 1,633 cases were recorded and 20 premises were ordered to close.

Of the total, he said 772 cases were reported in the districts of Melaka Tengah, Alor Gajah (516 cases) and Jasin (345 cases) while six nurseries, kindergartens (seven), preschool (one), private houses (four) and childcare centres (two) were ordered to close.

On Wednesday alone, the cases registered in the three districts in Melaka were above the epidemic level, namely 148 cases in Melaka Tengah, Alor Gajah (83 cases) and Jasin (24 cases).

In another development, he said a total of 301 compounds worth RM60,000 had been issued under PPKHT 2004 from January 2 to May 14 and a total of RM42,775 of the value of the compound had been settled.

During the same period, he said 705 notices were issued including for smoking in non-smoking areas he said.

“In tonight's operation, we have issued eight compounds,” he added. ― Bernama