Current Affairs, National, Opinion

The Minister of Education must rethink the school reopening plan for Sabah

Media statement by MP for Sandakan, Vivian Wong on 5 September 2021:

 

Democratic Action Party (DAP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Sandakan Vivian Wong, in a statement issued today said that it is appalling that after dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic for one and half year, the Minister of Education is still dispensing a “one-size fits all” type of policy for our school reopening plan and disregarding the different Covid-19 situation in different states in the country. 

She expressed the above in responding to the Minister of Education announcement yesterday that all national schools will reopen on 3 October 2021 as planned, except those in states who are in phase one of the National Recovery Plan.

“Does the Minister of Education aware of how dire the situation is in Sabah right now before making his decision in his Putrajaya’s ivory tower? We have recorded more than 2000 daily Covid cases for consecutive 18 days in a row, and our the bed usage in our major hospitals in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau are over 100%, with some ICU occupancy rate over 150% currently!”, said Vivian.

 
MP for Sandakan, Vivian Wong.
 

“Sabah might be under phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan currently, but the irony is that, based on our daily Covid cases and the rate of hospital bed usage in the ICU, which are 2 of the main criteria under the National Recovery Plan announced back in June, there is no way Sabah can still be classified under phase 2. On 3 September alone, out of the 2404 positive cases registered in Sabah, a whopping 638 cases or 26.5% of the total are children and teenagers below the age of 17. This is extremely worrying as they are the group which is not protected by the Covid vaccine”, added Vivian.

 

“What gives the Minister of Education such blind confidence to send all children back to school by 3 October in Sabah? Can he guarantee the health and safety of our school children when the Covid-19 situation in Sabah is still out of control?”

 

“What is more worrying is that according to data released by the Ministry of Health at the end of August, Sabah recorded the highest Covid-19 test positive rate in the country, with its 7-day average positive rate between 22 Aug to 28 Aug stands at a shocking 24.29%, nearly 5 times above the recommended value by World Health Organization.”

“This means that Sabah is severely under-tested, with many more cases out there roaming undetected, and probably causing large scale community spreading.”

“Therefore, it is absolutely foolish and irresponsible for the Minister of Education to reopen schools in Sabah without assessing the prevailing ground situation in Sabah. Such a reckless decision must be stopped and reviewed for the safety and welfare of all school children in Sabah”. – The Rocket.

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