There is no issue of discrimination against children of frontline personnel, especially those of the Health Ministry staff when placing them in childcare centres (nurseries), said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said the standard operating procedures (SOP) for nurseries, which was still at the proposal stage and had not been presented to the National Security Council (MKN), was aimed at reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection.

He said frontline personnel, especially those working in hospitals, were among the groups at risk of infection and so were their family members.

"We're not stopping them (from coming to the nursery). We will reserve a special space for children of frontline staff there. If the nursery is at the hospital, there is no problem. However, when interacting with other children, there's a need to take specific care.

"This is not isolating them. We are providing them with a special place. It may look like we are isolating them, but we are actually paying special attention to them," he said when answering questions about guidelines regarding the operation of nurseries, has been claimed to be a form of 'discrimination' against children of the frontline workers.

Dr Noor Hisham said health workers were also reminded to adhere to safety measures when returning home, including cleaning up and practicing good personal hygiene before touching their children.

He said the SOP (for nursery) will be finalised and presented to the National Security Council before being implemented.

"The Health Ministry would like to repeat that there is no discrimination in providing COVID-19 treatment to all, whether citizens or non-citizens, adults or children," he said.