KOTA BARU, May 21 The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) will examine the need to close kindergartens and child care centres to prevent the spread of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

Its deputy minister, Datuk Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff said the ministry viewed seriously the increase in the HFMD cases as it concerned issues on the safety and health of children.

She said the ministry would refer the matter to the Health Ministry to obtain statistics on the HFMD cases.

"From the reports obtained, we will hold discussions at the ministry level on the next step to take. If the situation has reached an alarming stage, it requires immediate action,” she told reporters this at a Aidilfitri celebration and presentation of tithe to 20 trishaw riders at Dewan WAWA here today.

Also present were Kelantan Social Welfare director Said Sidup.

Based on media reports yesterday, the Melaka Health Department had ordered child-related premises such as nurseries, kindergartens and care centres that recorded more than four cases of HFMD infection to be closed for 10 days in accordance with the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342). Bernama