Three more may be infected

  • Nation
  • Monday, 07 Apr 2003

IPOH: The Ipoh Hospital has recorded three more admissions of patients suspected to be down with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), bringing the total number of suspected cases in the state to five. 

State health director Dr Abdul Razak Kechick said two of them were admitted on Saturday. 

One is a 21-year-old man from Menglembu, who returned from Singapore several days ago. 

The other is a 40-year-old housewife who lived in Hong Kong but was home to see relatives in Pasir Puteh during the Qing Ming festival, he said.  

The third patient is a 15-year-old boy studying in Singapore who was here to visit his family. He was admitted to hospital yesterday.  

“All three are suffering from flu-like symptoms, cough and high fever.” 

Dr Abdul Razak said two other patients were a 68-year-old man from Teluk Intan who had been warded since March 29 and a 23-year-old express bus driver plying passengers from Taiping to Singapore. He was admitted on April 4. 

All five patients are in stable condition. 

In Kuantan, state Youth, Sports and Health Committee chairman Datuk Dr Ahmad Shukri Ismail said the state would ask for police help to quarantine the family of a suspected SARS victim in Jerantut. 

He said the house of the 64-year-old man who died in Kuala Lumpur Hospital of SARS on March 30 would be quarantined until Thursday.  

“We have made arrangements for all their daily needs be provided to them during the period,” Dr Ahmad Shukri told reporters after attending the launch of the Kuantan Umno Youth, Wanita and Puteri Umno division meeting here yesterday. 

Dr Ahmad Shukri said about 20 people from three houses in Kampong Batu Balai, Jerantut, who were the victim's relatives and family members, were affected by the quarantine order and they were being monitored by members of the village's security community and health department. 

In Petaling Jaya, a Health Ministry spokesman said the Jerantut district health officer had absolute power in enforcing a quarantine on the family of the 64-year old man. 

The powers were given to him under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, he said. 

“Under Section 15(2), an authorised officer may use such force as may be necessary to ensure compliance with his order. This means he can ask the police to help enforce the quarantine or bring them to the hospital,” he said. 

Section 15(1) states an authorised officer may order any person to undergo observation in such place and for such period as he may think fit, to undergo surveillance until he may be discharged without danger to the public. 

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