Chua: New SARS virus less dangerous

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 20 Jan 2004

TELUK INTAN: The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus, which re-emerged in China recently, is not as dangerous as the previous strain, said Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng. 

“The virus has mutated and is less virulent. The few cases reported in China showed it is not as dangerous as the SARS virus that appeared last year. 

“Those who were affected by the virus had quickly recovered and no contacts were affected. 

“I don’t think it is going to be a problem as we have already taken the necessary precautionary measures and will continue with them,” Chua said after attending a Chinese New Year cultural show at the Xian Fa Shi Gong Hall in Hutan Melintang on Sunday night, which was organised by the Hutan Melintang MCA branch. 

Also present was state assemblyman for Hutan Melintang Datuk G. Rajoo and other MCA leaders. 

In Petaling Jaya yesterday, Chua said all government hospitals must attain the Malaysian Society of Quality in Health (MSQH) accreditation by next year. 

About 30 public hospitals have received the internationally recognised accreditation, he said.  

“This goes beyond the ISO standards, which are generic, while these are specified global standards established for medical care. 

“Very few private hospitals have this,” he said after launching TV3’s latest programme, Medik TV, at Seri Pentas here. 

Under MSQH, every component, including the emergency room, mortuary and frontline would be benchmarked, he said. 

An independent, non-profit organisation set up by the ministry, Association of Private Hospitals and the Malaysian Medical Association, the MSQH aimed to ensure quality systems exist for all healthcare facilities. 

Chua also said that Malaysia had surpassed by 25 years the World Health Organisation’s three indicators for a country to attain good health standards. 

The indicators are the death rates of adults, babies and young children. 

However, Chua warned that as the country became more affluent, diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer were on the rise.  

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