No need for paranoia, M'sians told


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 01 Apr 2003

PETALING JAYA: There is no reason for Malaysians to be paranoid over the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) as the Health Ministry has put all the necessary surveillance, preparations and advisories in place, said World Health Organisation (WHO) acting representative to Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Joel Vanderburg yesterday. 

“People should be smart and listen to the Government.  

“There is no need to be frightened. Maybe it (the fear) is because of how little we know about the disease. But it (SARS) is still definitely a concern to us,” he said when contacted. 

He also said the Health Ministry had done “a very good job” in confronting SARS as it had carried out the necessary education and dissemination of information to the public. 

“We are concerned but thankful that so far Malaysia has been spared.And we have a WHO team there (in Singapore) which is working at things like strengthening control measures and identifying causes and sources,” he said.  

He also expressed the hope that quick diagnoses could be carried out once a diagnostic tool was put in place. 

“The diagnostic tool would be able to tell quickly whether a patient had SARS or not. In this way, excess resource spending would also be eliminated. 

“Now, doctors have to look at symptoms like prolonged high fever or dry persistent cough and lung X-rays for pneumonia. But once the tool is ready, we can bypass this,” he added.  

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