Malaysia shuts down school after swine-flu infections

June 22nd, 2009 - 9:51 am ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, June 22 (DPA) Malaysia has ordered a school to be shut down for a week after one of its students infected her classmates with the swine-flu virus, news reports said Monday.
The primary-level school in the capital Kuala Lumpur, which has a total of 2,100 staff and students aged between 6 and 12, became the first school in Malaysia to be closed down due to the H1N1 virus.

“We have agreed to take action following set protocol after the meeting a few days ago. This is necessary to avoid the spread of the virus,” Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said.

Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, said the school would be reopened after a week if the situation was deemed to be safe.

“Even though I do not want the education of the pupils being disrupted but their safety must be given priority. Lets not wait until more pupils are infected as it would be too late then,” he was quoted as saying by the official Bernama news agency.

Two students from two different schools in the central state of Selangor were also confirmed to be infected.

However, Muhyiddin said their schools would not be closed yet, as the situation was deemed to be under control.

He said the government would not impose health screening of all students before entering schools, as the move was still unnecessary and would trigger public panic.

Malaysia has recorded a total 50 cases of swine flu since reporting its first patient in May. So far, there have been no deaths.

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