Chan: We are monitoring HFMD situation closely

KUCHING: The death of a four-year-old boy from Sibu last month with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) symptoms was due to the deadly Enterovirus 71 (EV71) that killed 30 children below the age of five here in 1997, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said.

However, he said the government had taken measures to prevent a serious outbreak and the public need not worry about it.

“We are monitoring the situation very closely,” he said.

He said two children aged between two and three had been warded at the Miri Hospital since Oct 14 after they were diagnosed with HFMD but that their condition was stable.

So far, 6,414 HFMD cases had been reported in Sarawak with the Miri Hospital and Sibu Hospital registering 10 and seven admissions respectively.

The HFMD outbreak in 1997 was due to the EV71 virus which was discovered for the first time in Malaysia.

On another development, Chan who is also state Agriculture Modernisation Minister, said the state government was willing to come up with special incentives to lure more local farmers to venture into organic farming.

“The federal government has provided many incentives and the state government can consider our own incentives if more local farmers are keen on organic farming,” he said.

At the moment, he said only one farm in Sarawak had been accredited with organic farming certification while three were being audited for certification and three more were planning to go into organic farming.

He said the main reason local farmers were shying away from venturing into organic farming was the strict procedure that the farmers had to adopt. - BERNAMA.

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