THERE seems to be a drop in Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) cases in Sarawak.
That’s great news because we definitely do not want a repeat of the HFMD outbreak that occurred in 1997.
Last Saturday, 32 news cases of HFMD were reported statewide compared to 50 cases on Friday.
State Health Department statistics showed that Kuching recorded the highest cases at 18 , followed by Miri (four), Bintulu and Mukah (three each) and Samarahan and Sibu (two each).
Sadly 84 schools remain closed in the State, but this is necessary to ensure that the disease does not spread to other children.
It is good to know that the Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) has ordered the closure of all children’s playgrounds and recreational parks under its jurisdiction as a precautionary measure against the spread of HFMD.
The recreational areas and playgrounds are those in Siburan, Beratok, Batu Gong, Sebuak, Dahlia, Matang, Jubli Emas, Telaga Air Waterfront, Moyan Utama, Haji Baki, Genesis Garden, Olive Garden, Mei Lee Garden, Mei Lee Villa, Semaba, Country Ville, RPR Batu Kawa, Mutiara housing estate, Lian Hua housing estate, Pitcher Plant Preservation Centre at Kota Padawan, and Wawasan and Phoenix housing estates in Kota Sentosa.
Good on MPP for doing its part to ensure more children do not get infected.
In the meantime, as parents, we must also do our part. Ensure that our children practise good hygiene at home as well as in school. We need to teach them how to always wash their hands properly and thoroughly with soap. Ensure that the schools that our children attend are taking extra measures to maintain hygiene as well.
The State Health Department recommends:
- Frequent hand washing, especially after diaper changes, after using the toilet and before preparing food.
- Maintain cleanliness of the home, childcare centres, kindergartens or schools and its surroundings.
- Clean contaminated surfaces and soiled items with soap and water, and then disinfect them with diluted solution of chlorine-containing bleach (10 per cent concentration).
- Bring children to the nearest clinic if they show signs and symptoms. Refrain from sending them to childcare centres, kindergartens or schools.
- Avoid close contact (kissing, hugging, sharing utensils, etc.) with children having HFMD illness to reduce of the risk of infection.
Let’s all do our part. If anything, the 1997 outbreak taught us that HFMD can have devastating consequences. Let’s make sure that never happens again.
A report from Bernama:
Drop seen in HFMD cases statewide
KUCHING: Thirty-two news cases of the hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD) were reported throughout Sarawak on Saturday as compared to 50 cases on Friday.
According to a statement issued by the State Health Department yesterday, Kuching recorded the highest cases at 18 , Miri (four), Bintulu and Mukah three each while Samarahan and Sibu reported two cases each.
Eighty-four schools remain closed in Sarawak. — Bernama
The Borneo Post report:
Playgrounds and parks in PMC area ordered to close
KUCHING: Padawan Municipal Council has ordered the closure of all children playgrounds and recreational parks under its jurisdiction as a precautionary measure against the spread of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD).
Its beautification and landscaping standing committee chairman Edward Kurik said the decision was made during their meeting recently.
He also said the ruling was made in accordance with directive from the State Health Department — that all parties should take precautionary measures to prevent further outbreak of the disease.
Edward said the closure order took effect immediately.
“Our gardens and playgrounds will reopen once the situation has returned to normal or upon the advice of the relevant authorities,” he added.
Among the recreational areas and playgrounds are those in Siburan, Beratok, Batu Gong, Sebuak, Dahlia, Matang, Jubli Emas, Telaga Air Waterfront, Moyan Utama, Haji Baki, Genesis Garden, Olive Garden, Mei Lee Garden, Mei Lee Villa, Semaba, Country Ville, RPR Batu Kawa, Mutiara housing estate, Lian Hua housing estate, Pitcher Plant Preservation Centre at Kota Padawan, and Wawasan and Phoenix housing estates in Kota Sentosa.
“The decision to close the playgrounds and recreational parks was unanimously agreed by all the committee members,” Edward said, adding that their chairman Lo Khere Chiang and secretary Michael Saweng were also present.