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Provide School Kids With Free Reusable Face Masks, Lawmakers Tell Government

Provide School Kids With Free Reusable Face Masks, Lawmakers Tell Government

Akmal Hakim

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As pre, primary and secondary schools across the nation reopen to the “new normal” learning environment, and with the mandatory mask in public spaces rule coming to effect in August, lawmakers are urging the government to provide students with reusable face masks so that they can effectively comply with Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP).

Gopeng Member of Parliament (MP) and former Deputy Health Minister Dr. Lee Boon Chye said that distributing free reusable masks would help curb the spread of Covid-19 in schools.

The doctor explained that schools pose the perfect breeding ground for the virus with the prevalence of asymptomatic infections – an infected person and a carrier of disease without experiencing any symptoms or sickness – being higher among children than in adults.

The move would also effectively alleviate parents’ financial burdens in having to equipt their kids with personal protective equipment (PPE).

The MP estimates that distributing two reusable face masks valused at RM2 for 5.4 million students nationwide would cost the public coffers some RM24 million.

Currently, official Covid-19 guidelines for schools do not require the mandatory use of face masks.

Meanwhile, Johor Baru MP Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir also questioned the government’s previous effort to provide each Malaysian household with four free three-ply facial masks during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, costing around RM24.6 million.

Notably, the MP said that there have been complaints from the public who did not receive the masks as promised.

In line with the government’s mandatory mask rule and its move to lower the ceiling price for medical-grade three-ply face masks from RM1.50 to RM1.20 apiece starting August 15, Akmal Nasrullah urged authorities to keep up with enforcement efforts to ensure the public abides by the law.


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