Eastern Malaysia has closed six more primary schools to curb the spread of the Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD), bringing the total number to 31, an official said Wednesday.
The health authorities in Sarawak state has ordered an immediate closure of those primary schools for two weeks after 30 pupils were suspected to have contracted the HFMD, Deputy State Chief Minister George Chan said.
According to the State Health Ministry's policy, any primary school found to have two HFMD cases in seven days will be shut down automatically for two weeks.
In the last 24 hours, Sarawak reported 232 new suspect cases, with 63 cases reported in Miri, followed by Sarikei (37), Sibu (29) , Kapit (25), Mukah (23) and Kuching (17), Chan said.
The growing number of new suspected cases were brought about by screening exercise in the schools and parents' enhanced awareness on the disease, Chan added.
He noted that the number of serious cases and the hospital admission has been reduced over the last two days.
So far, the death toll of the HFMD remains at eight, with a two- year-old boy as the latest victim who died last Thursday.
Meanwhile, all kindergartens and daycare centers in the state have been ordered to be closed indefinitely.