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Monday May 11, 2009

Special quarantine rooms at 28 hospitals for A(H1N1)

MALACCA: Health authorities are beefing up the nation’s pandemic preparedness capability by setting up special quarantine rooms in 28 hospitals throughout the country following the Influenza A(H1N1) global outbreak.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the move was in line with the implementation of a national pandemic preparedness plan as called for by the World Health Organisation.

Every state would have hospitals with a designated quarantine area, he said.

Speaking to reporters after visiting Road Transport Department trainees warded for meningitis at the Malacca Hospital yesterday, Liow said the ministry would increase the number of thermal scanners at all entry points into the country.

He noted that the strengthening of the pandemic preparedness plan was crucial not only against H1N1 but also for other types of infectious threats such as bird flu (H5N1).

“Don’t think that the threat of the avian flu is not there,” he said, adding that during the Asean Health Ministers meeting in Bangkok last week, Malaysia was deemed as having one of the best pandemic preparedness plans in the region.

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