Despite official warnings, some are taking a lax approach to precautions Doctors and officials have urged schools to strengthen precautions against Sars and other infectious diseases after many pupils returned to school yesterday without having had their temperature checked at home. As many as 40 per cent of the 900 pupils at SKH Yat Sau Primary School in Choi Hung Estate told teachers they and their parents had failed to follow the government's anti-fever guidelines, according to the teacher in charge of overseeing the measures. The school had to spend nearly an hour checking pupils' temperatures and spraying their hands with disinfectant. 'I just forgot that I had to measure my temperature. But I am not scared by Sars at all,' said Chan Wai-hin, 7, a Year 2 pupil. Li Yuen-lung, parent of a Year 4 pupil, said she was not aware of the need to follow the measures. 'Our family did not travel outside Hong Kong during the summer vacation. So I thought taking my child's temperature wasn't necessary,' she said. Tsoi Kai-chun, principal of Yaumati Catholic Primary School, said about 10 per cent of his 1,000 pupils did not follow the temperature-checking guidelines. He said the rate was much higher than before the vacation, when classes resumed after a suspension of nearly two months because of the Sars outbreak. Under the measures, all pupils should have a note from their parents certifying that they have had their temperatures checked and are not running a fever before they will be allowed into class. It is up to individual schools whether they make the checks compulsory. Education officials said most public schools had done so. International schools have adopted a mixed stance to the guidelines, with the German Swiss International School saying it would rigorously follow them. Others, such as the Hong Kong International School, said the temperature checks were unnecessary as the World Health Organisation had already dropped its travel advisory against Hong Kong. Pointing to the situation at schools yesterday and to two recent flu-like outbreaks at hospitals, Michael Mak Kwok-fung, a legislator representing the health-care sector, said there had been a lapse in infection-control measures. 'Schools should learn from the recent cases that unnecessary anxiety will be caused if they lower their guard against Sars and other infectious diseases,' he said. In a move to raise students' health and hygiene awareness, the Education and Manpower Bureau will launch its 'Live Hygiene, Live Health' programme of activities this Friday. The year-long programme calls on students to help keep their school grounds clean and adopt a healthy lifestyle. A spokesman for the bureau also called on schools to stick to its precautionary guidelines. Some schools have taken considerable precautions with their anti-infection measures. As part of a $30 million improvement project, SKH Yat Sau has installed new ventilation systems and liquid soap and hand-dryers in washrooms. Yaumati Catholic Primary will have its 70 staff vaccinated this week against the flu and consider asking pupils to be vaccinated. However, Poon Kam-fai, a doctor specialising in paediatrics, doubted the effectiveness of the vaccines as 'there are many types of flu and they mutate very quickly', he said.