H5N1: No instruction to close schools yet, says Education sec-gen


KOTA BARU: The Education Ministry has yet to receive instruction to close schools or change the menu at school canteens in Kelantan following the spread of the bird flu (H5N1) in the state.

Its secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad said the ministry, with the cooperation of the State Health Department, was monitoring the situation, although schools were now closed for the first term break.

"All food supplied to schools are monitored, although there is yet to be an epidemic. We are always in contact with the State Health Department for the latest development," he said.

He told this to reporters after opening the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Ismail Petra's Parents-Teachers Association meeting in Wakaf Mek Zainab here today.

Last Wednesday, the Kelantan government declared the H5N1 as a state disaster after several free-range chicken died from the disease in Kampung Pulau Tebu, Tunjong here.

So far, 22 villages in six districts are affected by the disease, namely in Kota Baru (14 villages), Pasir Mas (four) and one each in Tumpat, Pasir Puteh, Bachok and Tanah Merah. - BERNAMA