Duo not infected with deadly virus

  • Nation
  • Friday, 21 Mar 2003

PETALING JAYA: The two people earlier thought to have symptoms similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are responding well from treatment provided at hospitals here. 

“Their reaction to the medication and the hospitals’ observation indicate their illness is not likely to be related to SARS,” Health Ministry Disease Control Division operations centre Dr Hassan Abdul Rahman said yesterday. 

He said the two were responding well to the antibiotics given and were walking about in the wards. 

It was reported on Wednesday that the two were admitted to private hospitals for treatment of suspected SARS symptoms. One of the patients had visited Hanoi and the other Singapore – two places where SARS cases were detected. 

Dr Hassan said no new suspected cases of SARS had been reported. 

The centre, meanwhile, was still receiving public enquiries regarding the situation in Malaysia. 

“We are monitoring the situation closely and are strictly adhering to guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation,” he said when contacted. 

He said the ministry also clarified that there was no similar cases reported in government hospitals as reported by an English daily yesterday.  

Meanwhile, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) vice-president (education and training) Ronald Chan said although there were tour cancellations as a result of the recent SARS outbreak and Iraqi crisis, the numbers were minimal. 

In Kuching, health officials are interviewing visitors from countries with cases of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARs). 

Immigration officers were seen guiding the visitors to health officials upon their arrival and given health alert cards. 

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam confirmed that medical teams were stationed at entry points, particularly the airports, as the state stepped up its vigilance against SARs. 

He said health officials were on the lookout for visitors from countries where SARs had been reported, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Canada and Germany. 

Dr Chan advised the public not to take SARs lightly and to seek immediate medical treatment if they had high fever, cough and shortness of breath. 

In Johor Baru, the Sultanah Aminah Hospital denied reports that a patient inflicted with atypical pneumonia or SARS has been warded here. 

Its director Dr V. Sadandan said there was no such patient being admitted at the hospital and it would have informed the Health Ministry should there be such a case referred to the hospital. 

Health authorities has reassured the public that SARS has not reached Malaysian shores although 31 cases were reported in Singapore. 

However, the public have been advised to take precautionary steps.  

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