KUALA LUMPUR: There is no necessity to close boarding schools despite an increase in COVID-19 clusters as many of the cases there involve mild symptoms or were asymptomatic, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.

He said closing them would be a step backward as the teenage vaccination rate was over 90 per cent.

“COVID-19 infections will happen and we cannot run away from that. As long as the symptoms are mild, they can still be isolated in their hostels or at home,” he told a media conference in Parliament today.

Earlier, Khairy said a total of 52 education clusters, including 27 boarding schools detected during the first week after schools reopened until yesterday.

“Of these 52 clusters, 44 of them had students as index cases, five clusters (teachers or lecturers) and three clusters (support staff),” he said.

He said the gathering of students had increased the risk of transmission, resulting in 15 new clusters in the first week of schooling.

In the second week, it rose to 33 clusters, he said, adding that all states reported education clusters except Perlis, Terengganu, Sarawak and Labuan. - Bernama