Don't let children visit hospitals


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 02 Apr 2003

By KULDEEP S. JESSY

IPOH: The public have been advised not to take children and senior citizens to visit patients in hospitals. 

State Health and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Ho Cheng Wang said this was because the patients suffered from various diseases. 

PRECAUTION: Wearing surgical masks to protect themselves from SARS, two medical personnel were deployed to the Johor Causeway.--APpic.

“Although the public need not be unduly alarmed as there is no outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) disease in the state, there are a lot of germs in hospitals. 

“Therefore, people should refrain from bringing children or the aged to hospitals if they want to visit relatives or friends,” he said in an interview yesterday. 

Ho said so far, four people had been admitted to Ipoh Hospital for suspected SARS, out of whom one – an Ipoh resident who had visited Singapore earlier – was discharged yesterday morning. 

Of the three still in the hospital’s special quarantine section, two are from Teluk Intan and one from the Manjung district. They had visited either China or Hong Kong. 

“The situation is under control, and they have been suspected of suffering from the SARS as they have flu-like symptoms,” he said. 

Ho said the patient who had been discharged and his family members would be observed by medical officers for several days, adding that the family members of those still warded would also be observed and they had been advised not to leave home unnecessarily. 

“We also advise those who have just returned from Hong Kong, China, Vietnam and Singapore to stay at home for between two and seven days,'' he said. 

In Kuching, JACK WONG reports that the state Health Department is still in the dark as to where the Singaporean woman who died of SARS on Monday had been to while she was in Sarawak from March 15 to 18. 

State Health director Dr Yao Sik Chi said the department had no idea where she and her family had visited during their trip to Sarawak. 

“We are awaiting information from the Singaporean Health Ministry (to trace whom the woman and her family had been in contact with in Sarawak),” he added. 

According to a Singaporean Health Ministry’s spokesman, the 43-year-old woman had visited a patient at a hospital before travelling to Sarawak.  

The spokesman said the woman only developed fever when she returned to Singapore on March 18. Dr Yao denied local newspapers reports that three suspected SARS cases had been detected in Sibu and one in Kuching. 

He said health officials had been stationed at the Kuching airport, and in Sibu, Miri and Bintulu, as well as at the key ports to interview visitors. 

“We want to find out where they come from and if they have visited the affected countries like China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Canada and Singapore in the past 14 days. 

“We will bring anyone having SARS symptoms, like flu and fever, to the nearest hospital for medical checks,” he added.  

World Health Organization SARS site 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

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