Four steps to curb H1N1

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 15 Sep 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Those returning to their hometowns this Raya must practise preventive measures against spreading influenza A(H1N1) at all times.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai reminded travellers to adopt a four-phase preventive measure.

The phases involve before they embark on the trip, during the journey and stay at their hometowns and on the trip back to the city.

“The ministry does not, in any way, want to dampen the Aidilfitri spirit, but we want to ensure that people are safe and sound.

“We do not want the festive season to be disrupted by untoward incidents,” he said during the Hari Raya Without H1N1 campaign at the Jalan Duta bus station here yesterday.

Liow said people should determine the safest and most suitable mode of transportation in the first phase.

“Those in the high-risk groups, such as pregnant women and asthma patients, should opt for modes of transportation that are less packed such as private vehicles,” he said.

He reminded those using crowded terminals to wear masks.

Liow urged transport companies, such as bus operators, to provide hand sanitisers and masks to passengers with influenza-like illness and to separate them from the others.

“While in their kampung, those with influenza-like illness should segregate themselves from family members or wear masks in the presence of others,” he said.

The minister said those attending the Aidilfitri prayers could wear masks and bring their own mats to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

“Upon their return from their hometowns, those who are unwell are advised not to go to work or school and seek medical help if the symptoms persist,” Liow said.

He also announced that there were 48 new patients with influenza-like illness warded for treatment currently.

“Some 126 patients have been discharged, leaving 970 people with influenza-like illness still undergoing treatment in 102 hospitals nationwide,” he said, adding that of the number, 20% or 193 cases were certified positive for the influenza A(H1N1).

Liow said the 41 patients out of the positive cases were being treated in Intensive Care Units.

“Even though about 80% of the influenza patients are from the high-risk groups, we should not be complacent if we are not under that category,” he added.

In Putrajaya, the ministry’s director-general, Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican, said people should bring with them the H1N1 kit comprising face mask, tissues and hand sanitiser when visiting friends and family during the festive season.

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