Covid-19: Melaka education clusters’ upward trend worrying – Health Dept

MELAKA – The Melaka Health Department has not ruled out the possibility of an increase in COVID-19 cases, including the Omicron variant, in educational institutions in the state.

Its director, Dr Rusdi Abd Rahman, said four clusters, involving 261 students from a religious school; a public institution of higher learning and vocational colleges, reported in the state, showed a very worrying trend.

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“It is based on the upward trend in an average of seven days today, with four existing clusters that are still active,” he told reporters after conducting an operation in conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebration, at a supermarket in Malim here today.

He said the active education clusters were the Jalan Kemendor Cluster involving Datuk Seri Abu Zahar Isnin Vocational College in Jasin with 39 cases; the Jalan Hang Tuah Jaya 2 Cluster (Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka with 58 cases); Jalan Tun Telani Cluster (Melaka Tengah Vocational College with 135 cases) and Jalan Pengkalan Batu Cluster (Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Sultan Muhammad with 29 cases).

“I find it worrying that out of these four clusters, there is one case of the Omicron variant. The increase is very clear and I am not surprised if, for example, other schools, especially hostels, will become victims if we are not careful. Hence, we request the cooperation of all parties to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs), and don’t be complacent,” he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on today’s operation, he explained that a total of 291 items valued at RM1,310.69 were seized and two compound notices worth RM6,000 were issued.

Dr Rusdi also said that a total of 637 items, with a value of RM3,835.94, were seized from Jan 1 to yesterday (Jan 24).

He said among the offences detected were damaged packaging (five cases), labelling (258 cases) and past shelf life (374 cases); the rest were mouldy or damaged food.

“For compounds issued under the Food Regulations 1985, for the same period, eight notices were issued with a value of RM23,500.

“Meanwhile, four premises were ordered to close, with 141 compounds issued worth RM14,750, during the inspection carried out from Jan 1 to yesterday (Jan 24),” he said.

He also advised restaurants that will provide large dining services in conjunction with the Chinese New Year to adhere to the guidelines that have been set, especially involving cleanliness.