Fatimah: Sarawak closes all schools to keep children safe against Covid-19

Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

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By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, March 17: Children especially younger ones are more susceptible to getting sick as their immune system are still developing unlike adults with stronger immunity systems.

Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Sri Fatimah Abdullah emphasised that this was the reason why the federal and state government decided to temporary closed all kindergartens, childcare centres, tahfiz (religious school) as well as public and private schools until March 31 to keep children safe against Covid-19.

“Although Covid-19 appeared to be affecting older people more than children, it is possible for people of any age to be infected with the virus.

“The virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (generated through coughing and sneezing), and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus,” she told reporters after the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) ceremony between the ministry, Society for Parents of Children with Special Needs’ (Pibakat) and Petronas today.

She pointed out that many kindergartens, childcare centres and schools in Sarawak have more than 50 children in a class, thus it was only right to take measures seriously to be ‘safe than sorry’.

Fatimah also urged parents and employers to be more understanding of the circumstances of the current Covid-19 situation.

She noted that many working parents were left in the lurch by the two-weeks schools closure.

“I understand that there are going to be people that have critical jobs. They need to go to their jobs, and they may have children whom they can’t leave at home all day without supervision.

“Perhaps, one of the solutions is parents can take turn in taking leave to stay at home with their children. Another solution is seeking employers’ understanding in this matter, to consider allowing their employees to work from home. This way, it can also reduce the number of people at a workplace,” she suggested.

During this critical period, Fatimah advised the public to remain extremely vigilant, avoid crowded places and practice good personal hygiene at all times such as washing hands regularly with soap.— DayakDaily