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Saturday, 9 August 2014

Subra: Dengue still a clear and present danger

JOHOR BARU: Dengue continues to be a clear and present danger, with 57,953 cases recorded so far this year — and the trend does not seem to be going down any time soon.

According to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, Selangor continues to lead as the state with the highest number of cases, which resulted in 44 deaths.

He said the ministry was heightening efforts to reduce cases nationwide by next month.

“We have implemented several new procedures and hope this will result in a reduction of cases by mid-September,” he said at the 1Malaysia Indian Health Programme held at SJK(T) Taman Tun Aminah here yesterday.

On Ebola, he said the outbreak could be contained within West Africa if infection management and post-death services in the affected countries are improved.

Dr Subramaniam added that containing the virus was not impossible and it was up to the World Health Organisation to ensure that relevant practices were improved in affected places.

“The virus spreads due to contact with bodily fluids, and I am told that it is the norm for people in Africa to touch those who have died,” he said.

WHO reported that up to Monday, 1,603 new Ebola cases (laboratory-confirmed as well as probable and suspected cases) and 887 deaths were reported in West Africa, including countries like Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

The most cost-effective preventive move for Malaysia at the moment is to check body temperatures of visitors as they enter the country at various checkpoints.

On a separate matter, Dr Subramaniam said the Government was trying its best to help Indians who do not have birth certificates and identity cards.

“Out of the 9,000 Indians identified, we have managed to help about 6,200,” he said, adding that the majority affected by the issue were from the older generation.

Tags / Keywords: ebola , Singapore , contained , virus , West Africa


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