Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) will start its mid-term break tomorrow, two weeks earlier than scheduled, to control the spread of influenza A (H1N1) among its students.

UPM-VCIt is learnt that four of UPM students have been tested positive for the virus so far, where two of them are currently undergoing home quarantine, while the other two are quarantined at the hostel.

Bernama was also made to understand that the number would increase as several other students were being tested after showing symptoms of the disease.

UPM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Nik Mustapha R. Abdullah (pic) in a statement here today, said that the decision to start the mid-term break earlier and close the campus starting tomorrow till Aug 4, was made upon the Health Ministry’s advice.

“Originally, the mid-term break for 2009/2010 were to commence on Aug 17 until 23,” he said, adding that all academic and non-academic activities planned throughout the mid-term break would be cancelled.

Meanwhile in MIRI, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Chung Hua Miri became the first school here to be ordered closed for one week starting today after one of the students there was suspected of being infected with Influenza A (H1N1).

The school’s senior assistant, Albert Ong told reporters that a written order signed by the Miri Divisional Medical Officer Dr Muhammad Rais Abdullah was received today requiring the school to stop classes until Aug 3.

Ong said the temporary closure would affect 2,480 students and 150 staff of the school.

He advised the students and staff to quarantine themselves at home during the period as a prevention against possible spread of the disease.

Yesterday, a male student from the school was admitted to the Miri hospital after he was found having the flu.

In PENANG, a national service camp in Bukit Mertajam, Camp Syruz, has been closed for a week beginning today after 28 of its trainees had Influenza A(H1N1) symptoms.

With the closure of the camp, the number of institutions closed in the state rose to seven to date.

When contacted by Bernama here, State Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee Chairman Phee Boon Poh said the camp was ordered to be closed at noon and its 260 trainees were asked to go home for self-quarantine.

Earlier today, he said three institutes in Penang — the Industrial Training Institute Nibong Tebal, Ministry of Health’s Nurses Training Institute Bukit Mertajam and Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd (MAB) Training Centre — were closed for a week since yesterday.

Two days ago, SJK(C) Aik Keow and Politeknik Seberang Perai were ordered to close its operations while last Wednesday, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Permatang Pauh was also closed for the same reason.

In view of the potential spread of the influenza in the state, Phee reminded the people to take extra care of their health and hygiene.

“Should they have the symptoms, please get medical treatment immediately,” he said.

— BERNAMA