The situation of congestions in flood relief centres (PPS) due to flood disasters can carry the risk of transmission of COVID-19 infection among flood victims and staff.

Director General of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said, to date, 18 PPS had been opened in seven districts accommodating a total of 1,267 victims from 303 families.

"Therefore, COVID-19 prevention measures in PPS should be practiced and given attention by all occupants and agencies responsible for the management and welfare of victims in PPS.

''Occupants and staff at PPS are also advised to practice the 3W (wash, wear and warn) and avoid the 3C, namely, crowded and narrow areas and chatting at close range all the time other than practising social distancing and the ethics for coughing and sneezing, "he said in a statement today.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department had stated that the country was experiencing humid weather from time to time and it was expected to continue until the end of July, with flash floods occurring in several areas in the states of Johor, Pahang, Selangor and Melaka, causing PPS to be opened to house flood victims in the area affected.

In this regard, Dr Noor Hisham said the Ministry of Health had developed a prevention and management guide for COVID-19 in PPS starting from the process of transferring victims to PPS until the process after completion of placement.

Among the 11 steps proposed in the guide, he said, is that all PPS should put a sign to maintain physical distance and provide soap and water or disinfectant liquid as well as regular sanitations of common areas.

Meanwhile, he stressed, the transmission of COVID-19 infection in schools should be prevented as it could lead to widespread transmission among the students' peers, teachers and to families and in the community.

Therefore, he said, adherence to all advice and recommendations from the Ministry of Health is important to protect people from being infected with COVID-19.

Dr Noor Hisham gave the warning as secondary school students, Year Five and Six started the school session today and also congratulated all parties responsible for ensuring that students, pupils and school staff comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) set.