Najib queries rationale behind schools’ re-opening when Covid-19 is worse

Infographics taken from Najib's Facebook page showing the comparison between news articles on Nov 8, 2020 and Feb 19, 2021.

By Ling Hui

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 22: Why are schools re-opened when this Covid-19 crisis is much worse than the time when schools were ordered to close down, queries former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said he has been reading many comments from parents questioning the justifications of the government allowing schools to open now when the Coronavirus situation is far more distressing than that of last year.

Backing up this claim, Najib presented two sets of data comparing the Covid-19 situation between Nov 8, 2020 and Feb 19, 2021.

On Nov 8, 2020 when the Ministry of Education closed down all schools nationwide following a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), there were 852 new cases in the whole of Malaysia.

The cumulative number of Covid-19 cases as of that day stood at 11,689 and there were two new active clusters that emerged.

On the contrary, on Feb 19, 2021 when Senior Minister Education Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin announced to re-open schools, Malaysia recorded a total of 2,936 new cases in one day and a cumulative number of 36,797 cases.

Although a stricter Movement Control Order (MCO) is currently being implemented in most states, 13 new active clusters were reported in only 24 hours.

Seeking to know the reasoning behind the Ministry’s decisions in such a contrast, Najib said it could be a tough question to answer to the parents of children who are attending classes while Covid-19 lingers in the community.

“I think this is a deadly question that is difficult to answer.

“The answer cannot be that 2,936 new cases with 13 new clusters during MCO and Emergency is less dangerous as compared to 852 new cases with two new clusters during CMCO,” he said in his Facebook post yesterday (Feb 21).

Despite that, he viewed there is a need for the Ministry to answer to the people to ease the situation as many parents are worried about the safety of their beloved children.

“I believe many parents do want schools to re-open as soon as possible but they, at the same time, want to be assured of their children’s safety.

“That is why, it is not wrong for the parents to raise their questions,” said Najib. — DayakDaily