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‘Test students periodically’

STUDENTS of higher learning institutions will be periodically screened for Covid-19 to keep the virus at bay, says Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad.

The screening, she added, will be done via the saliva self-testing kit when campuses reopen in stages starting Friday.

“The ministry will distribute the Covid-19 saliva self-testing kit. Even though students are fully vaccinated, this screening is to ensure students are in good health,” she said when answering a supplementary question from Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir (PH-Johor Baru).

Akmal Nasrullah wanted to know if the ministry had any plans to distribute the saliva self-testing kits to students of higher learning institutions nationwide for free.

Noraini did not mention whether the kits would be distributed for free.

She added that students who tested positive for Covid-19 would be placed at quarantine centres that were set up at the respective institutions of higher learning (IPT).

“The IPT will not be closed and only studies with the student involved will be postponed.

“Only if there is a surge in cases, will the closure of an IPT be considered by the Health Ministry,” she said.

Meanwhile, Noraini said as at Oct 8, a total of 2,286 students or 0.2% of IPT students could not be vaccinated due to health conditions.

“IPTs are urged to assist these students to ensure their studies are unaffected.

“If the attendance of unvaccinated students is unavoidable, then IPTs must ensure stringent steps to curb Covid-19 are taken such as conducting regular swab tests and saliva tests,” she said.

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