Malaysia has extended the closure of kindergartens and preschool centers to prevent the Hand, Food and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in Sarawak state for another week until April 2, an official said Friday.
All the 488 kindergartens and 534 pre-school centers in the eastern state will continue to be closed until further notice, State Deputy Chief Minister George Chan said.
The health authorities made the decision after reassessing the situation of the HFMD, said Chan, adding that children aged four and under are the most vulnerable group.
Ever since the outbreak of the disease early this year, eight children have died in Sarawak, aged between eight months and four years.
Meanwhile, primary schools from grade one to three will reopen next Monday, with the exception of those schools affected by the infectious disease, said Chan, who was also Chairman of State Disaster and Relief Management Committee.
On March 3, Malaysian Health Ministry ordered all kindergartens, nurseries and day-care centers in Sarawak to be closed for two weeks but it was later extended until March 26. The order also applied to primary schools from grade one to grade three in this state.