Monday, May 18, 2009

Students Told Not To Wear Facemasks

With recent flu cases happening around the world, anybody would have been concern with the spread of the flu virus.

A meningitis bacteria was reported to be spreading in the Road Transport Departments training academy located at Tiang Dua, Malacca which affected people who were attending training classes there. Some of the people were quarantined.

At a nearby primary school (Star stated 300m away only; New Straits Times stated 2km away ...... so who is correct?), SRJK Tiang Dua, the parents-teachers' association took the initiative by buying facemasks for their students to wear as a precaution.

When the Education Ministry knew about it, the ministry sent a directive to the Malacca State Education Department to inform the school that all students be barred from wearing the facemasks. Can you beat that? On what basis was that directive based on?

Reasons given -
* to prevent undue panic among the general public
* assured by the health authorities that the outbreak is not viral in nature but a bacteria
* face masks would affect both students and teachers during classes
* by allowing the face mask, more speculations may arise resulting in undue panic among the general populace living nearby

Reading those reasons really made me faint. The PTA's initiative was to ensure that it does not spread only. It would have been better if the whole town's population was to don the facemask if possible. Personally, I'm sure it wouldn't have caused any panic unnecessary. Moreover, the facemask was bought by the PTA and not the health authorities.

Children are generally weaker in their anti-body fighting against viruses and bacterias. By having them wearing it, it would have been a much better condition for them to be at. It's more prevention than cure.

And then when the media or approach the health authorities and officials at the hospital (where trainees were admitted), both parties decided not to reveal any updates or information. I would say that this will definitely cause unnecessary panic when communication breaks down which will also lead us to more speculations.

Really give up on these fellas. Do you see my point?

The Health Ministry's minister Liow Tiong Lai blogged a bit about the scenario at the training academy.

Reading: Parents irked by mask off directive for students - Star
Tags: Facemask, Road Transport Departments Training Academy, Health Authorities, SRJK Tiang Dua, Malacca State Education Department, Meningitis



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