Health DG: All cough, flu-like symptoms must be viewed as possible Covid-19 cases

PUTRAJAYA: Health workers at clinics and hospitals must treat all severe acute respiratory illnesses (SARI) and influenza-like illnesses (ILI) cases, even a runny nose, as if they were dealing with Covid-19 patients, says Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The Health director-general said the Health Ministry had instructed its frontliners to put on protective equipment when treating SARI and ILI cases.

“Some 45 doctors have been diagnosed with Covid-19.

"So, it is important for all our doctors treating SARI or ILI patients to treat them as Covid-19 positive, until proven otherwise.

“This is for anyone who comes to the clinic, even if for a cough, cold or running nose.

"The doctors and healthcare workers must protect themselves as if treating Covid-19 patients, instead of waiting for the patient’s results later on.

“The circular has gone out, and we hope all our frontliners will take precaution when treating ILI or SARI patients,” said Dr Noor Hisham at a press conference here on Tuesday (April 22).

He was asked to comment on several Covid-19 clusters, where health workers became infected by patients who turned out to be positive for the virus.

In the Kuantan “Bali” cluster, several healthcare workers were found positive for Covid-19 after treating a patient for dengue, who later turned out to have been infected by the virus.

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