No such need yet for free, periodic Covid-19 test for teachers


By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Sept 8: There is no need to provide free and periodic Covid-19 test services for school teachers for now, unless the school is located within the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) area.

Explaining this, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali informed that currently, tests were performed only on individuals with symptoms and of high risk.

“The team from the District Health Office will carry out a risk assessment to see whether there is a need to implement a test to detect Covid-19 cases.

“The government has also developed the standard operating procedure (SOP) for various sectors and sub-sectors including for the education sector.

“As such, adhering and compliance to SOP is extremely important to ensure no spread of Covid-19 infections in school,” he told the Dewan Negara in responding to Senator Robert Lau today.

Dr Noor Azmi also informed that the Ministry of Health (MOH) had received similar requests from several ministries and agencies such as Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Malaysia Immigration Department and Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) on whether there was a need for Covid-19 test to be conducted free for the respective organisations.

“MOH has agreed that the team make a risk assessment according to the needs and conduct Covid-19 test on individuals with symptoms and of high risk only for free,” he elaborated.

He gave the example of Tawar Cluster which started on Sept 3 and until now has recorded 78 cases, out of which 18 cases involved teachers and students with a positive rate of 23.1 per cent.

“So, looking at the breakdown here, two cases are teachers and four cases were secondary students while nine cases were primary students and three cases were preschoolers.

“We can see that from 106 clusters, 95 have ended and the Tawar Cluster is among the 11 clusters still active.

“So for such clusters, public health activities include case detection and contact tracing, risk or symptoms assessment, or they can take the PCR test and refer to hospitals for treatment. Disinfection and cleaning activities are also carried out,” he added.—DayakDaily