SK Stella Maris, first school in Sabah closed for a week due to H1N1 infection

By Eve Bandusena | Parents Avenue’s Writer |

Image Source: Free Malaysia Today

SK Stella Maris, a primary school in Tanjung Aru was ordered to close as six pupils were confirmed to have the H1N1 flu.

The parents of the school students were informed of the school closure which will be in effect for a week from starting from the 22nd to the 28th of February 2020.

Sabah Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon shared that the situation wasn’t critical and that the school shutdown came as a means of approaching this state of affairs.

“We have sent the pupils involved home. It is not fatal unless those infected have serious health complications. They just need to go back and rest, wash their hands often and wear face masks,” he shared. 

“I have only heard about this over the last hour, so I cannot provide more details on the background of the pupils. It is not an epidemic.”

He further mentioned that the ministry was against the spread of H1N1 especially with Chinese New Year’s celebrations on the horizon.

Apart from that, Datuk Dr. Christina Rundi, Sabah health director has stated she was apprised that there was pressure from the Parent-Teacher Association to close the school.

“We do not need to close the school unless the premises were the source of infection.”

“In this matter, the decision was made by the district health officer. We will look at the criteria first before making a decision,” she shared.

A separate press statement issued by Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, current Director-General of Health Malaysia yesterday stated that to date, only two schools have been closed due to the H1N1 infections which have been SK Stella Maris, Tanjung Aru from January 22nd to 28th 2020 and Sekolah Menengah Sains Teluk Intan from 11th to 19th January. 

Meanwhile, the closing of classes was carried out by three schools in Penang; each of which involves different periods with each other that resulted from discussions between the Health Office and the school concerned.

The public was also urged to practice good hygiene by:

  • Wash your hands frequently with water and soap, or hand sanitizer
  • Practice good cough/sneeze manners
  • Do not associate with people with flu symptoms
  • Always practice a healthy lifestyle

For further reading on the H1N1 news, you might be interested in this article:

Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC)
Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC)

The findings of this article are features extracted from The Star and Free Malaysia Today.

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