MMA ‘shocked’ by new policy on frontliners’ kids at child centres

Childcare centres have been asked to separate children of frontliners.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association has added its voice to criticism of the women, family and community development ministry’s policy that children of Covid-19 frontliners should be separated from other children at childcare centres or nurseries.

“Frontliners and their children should not be subject to such discriminatory policies and practices. It is unacceptable,” said MMA president Dr N Ganabaskaran.

Yesterday, 250 paediatricians, supported by the Malaysian Paediatric Association, signed a letter protesting against the policy. They described the guidelines as a “slap in the face” for the country’s frontliners, who were recently described by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as “our national heroes”.

The ministry’s recently updated guidelines said childcare centres or nurseries should separate frontliners’ children from other children because of the increased risk that frontliners’ children have of being infected with Covid-19.

The ministry’s guidelines, for preventing infectious diseases at childcare centres or nurseries, were revised on May 22.

“MMA finds it disturbing and is shocked that such a policy has been approved by the ministry concerned and circulated by the Welfare Department,” said Ganabaskaran today. He said many frontliners had been offended by the updated guidelines.

He said the health ministry should have been consulted, especially as the country is in the midst of a global pandemic.

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