Two schools closed in Penang amidst fear of HFMD (Updated)

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Health Department has ordered two more schools to be shut down following the hand, foot and mouth (HFMD) disease outbreak.

Health director Dr Wan Mansor Wan Hamzah said the two schools were SJK (C) Shih Chung branch and Tenby International School.

"The closure has to be made after some of the students were infected by the virus," he said during a press conference at Komtar today.

Wan Mansor said SJKC Phor Tay had six of its classrooms closed since last Tuesday.

He added that two more schools, SJK (C) Chung San and SJK (C) Sum Sun, were also being monitored after a few of their students were found to have been infected with HFMD.

"We are still investigating it and will decide whether we will order the school to closed temporarily or not", he said.

Meanwhile in the same press conference, state Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Rural Development and Health committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin said as of July 10 this year the recorded number of HFMD cases was 1,673 compared to 1,073 cases in the same period last year.

"For this year, to date, a total of 63 HFMD clusters have been reported, which is an increase of 472%, compared to only 11 clusters reported in the same period last year," he said adding while the total number of facilities closed in the first half of this year is 61, with 17 remaining closed to date.