By Alang Bendahara
SHAH ALAM, April 30 — Names of schools that are ordered to be closed due to positive Covid-19 cases should be disclosed so that the people can take self precautionary measures, says Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud.
The state executive councillor for public health said she has always been against the Federal government’s approach by only disclosing the cumulative data on Covid-19 cases.
“The government’s reasoning had cited confidentiality the Covid-19 patients’ data such as their name and location.
“But when school closures are not disclosed, this is where fake news would spread on Whatsapp because the confidentiality does not give the people the additional information needed for them to make the right decision themselves,” she said in the forum titled ‘Covid-19 in Selangor: Ask anything’ that was broadcasted live on her Facebook page today.
The forum was hosted by Selangor Task Force Operation (STFO) director Dr Muhammad Farhan Rusl and Selangor Task Force for Covid-19 member Dr Yap Wei Aun.
Dr Siti Mariah said when the people are informed, they can take precautions by avoiding crowded areas such as markets, or malls near the schools.
“Maybe the Federal government are not revealing this for economic reasons as it can affect the economy but for me, but it is not fair as the people would be ill-informed of the locations that are at risk,” she said.
Dr Siti Mariah had also reminded parents to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and embrace the new norms.
She said the parents would have to change the way they interact with others, inculcate awareness in their kids, assist the school and teachers via the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), read and learn more on how to take care of themselves, their children, as well as on ways to safely send their children to school.
“If many of the parents practice this, then God willing we can safely open all schools to the students,” she said.
Commenting on the implementation of the home-based learning (PdPR) after Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Dr Siti Mariah said the programme is not working well for all.
She said for the B40 group, the families may only own one smartphone that may not even be up-to-date and they would most likely have limited internet access.
“The Education Ministry must look into this and address the matter if they want to implement PdPR for a long period of time. They have to either strengthen PdPR or find ways to make school safer for students,” she said.
Dr Siti Mariah added that most students could not concentrate during PdPR lessons as the lack of interaction means they get easily bored and require their parents to become their facilitator by sitting beside them during the online classes.