Passengers with flu-like symptoms urged to wear masks before their journey home

BENTONG: Bus and train passengers who have flu-like symptoms are reminded to wear face masks before embarking on their journey home, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.

He said the precaution was necessary to help check the spread of Influenza A (H1N1).

He also called on all public transport operators to play a role.

“Face masks should be provided so that passengers who have flu symptoms will not infect others on board.

“I was told some corporate firms had sponsored face masks and hand sanitisers,” he said after presenting aid to the poor here recently in conjunction with the festive season.

Liow, who is also Bentong MP, said people should realise that Influenza A (H1N1) was a silent killer and those in the high-risk groups were very susceptible.

“While we are in a festive mood, people should not let down their guard.

“Practising good hygiene is important to curb the disease,” he added.

Liow reminded those who had high fever, cough or body aches for more than two days to visit the nearest government clinic or hospital.

He said statistics showed that almost 98% of patients who were given prompt treatment recovered from the A (H1N1) flu.

On a separate matter, Liow said there was no immediate freeze on health staff who had applied for leave.

”However, they are subject to be recalled at any time should the need arise, such as a sudden increase of A (H1N1) cases.

“There is adequate staff on duty during the festive holiday,” he said, adding that the ministry had taken steps to upgrade its facilities in anticipation of a second wave of the A (H1N1) flu which might occur from the middle of next month.

Liow said the ministry had also directed its staff to be more prepared to handle such cases and to enhance the intensive care units and isolation wards.

He said public awareness and co-operation were important in helping the authorities to check the situation.

”All those in the high-risk groups should avoid public places and wear face masks,” he reiterated.

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