Health Ministry is coordinating statements about influenza situation

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 19 Jan 2020

SERDANG: The Health Ministry will be solely responsible for issuing official statements about the influenza situation in the country to avoid any confusion or panic, says its minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (pic).

He said that the ministry was not denying the efforts made by others at state level and only wanted to coordinate the information.

"Information on influenza can cause alarm and panic. That is why we are careful when issuing statements," he said.

He added that statements made by the health director-general would provide all necessary information and the latest updates.

He was asked to comment on the remarks made by Terengganu exco Dr Alias Razak, who is in charge of local government, housing, health and environment, who expressed disappointment that the state could no longer give updates on the influenza situation.

Dr Dzulkefly also noted that influenza is no longer classified as a notifiable disease and would be difficult for the ministry to give a daily update on the situation.

Asked why it had spread in schools, he said the need for hygiene was important.

"It is important to go back to basics, maintaining hygiene by washing hands, for instance," he added.

Increasing numbers of influenza cases involving schoolchildren have been recorded in several states.

Dr Dzulkefly also reiterated that there was sufficient supply of influenza vaccine to meet demand.

However, he urged healthcare providers to provide vaccines at an affordable rate.

"Please do not overcharge. I hope there will be no profiteering during this difficult time," he said, adding that the ministry does not practice price control of medicines.

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