A(H1N1): UiTM in Malacca ordered to close (Update)

A(H1N1): UiTM in Malacca ordered to close (Update) By MARTIN CARVALHO mart3@thestar.com.my

MALACCA: The Ministry of Health has ordered the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) campus in Lendu, Alor Gajah to temporarily stop classes after several more students contracted Influenza A(H1N1) on Thursday. Some estimated 5,000 students were informed by university officials late Thursday evening that they would be given a nine-day break from classes until July 24 in an attempt to prevent further infections. UiTM Vice-Chancellor Tan Sri Prof Dr Ibrahim Abu Shah confirmed that the university was ordered to temporarily stop classes after nine more students were confirmed to have been infected with the A(H1N1) virus. “We are complying with the ministry’s order in an attempt to prevent the situation from getting serious here,” he said. He said parents would be allowed to fetch their children with immediate effect and would be allowed to do so around the clock. Students living in and around Malacca would be allowed to leave immediately while those from elsewhere would be allowed to stay on until their parents pick them up, he added. Last Sunday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai confirmed that four UiTM students in Lendu tested positive for the virus and that the university would be ordered to stop classes temporarily if further transmissions were occurred. Meanwhile, health officials were seen going into the campus late this evening before the order to temporarily close the university was issued. Many students were later seen leaving the campus with their suitcases when informed that they were given off classes. The nine UiTM students were part of the 10 new cases of A(H1N1) recorded Thursday, the last one being a patient at the Sungai Buloh Hospital. It marks the first time when all new cases in a day were caused by local transmissions. In KUALA LUMPUR, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai described the situation at the UiTM campus as “alarming.” “I am upset that the situation in Malacca is expanding and have directed Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican to personally attend to the matter,” he said on Thursday.

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