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A(H1N1): 11 NS camps closed

PENANG, 30 July 2009: Eleven National Service (NS) camps in the peninsula have so far been ordered to close due to the trainees showing signs of influenza A(H1N1) infection.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the affected camps involved 4,500 students and about 200 staff members who had been asked to stay at home for a week.

He said the NS activities would resume according to the module after the trainees were allowed to return to the camps.

“We will take the same action on other NS camps if the same situation happens at these camps as there are 87 NS camps nationwide,” he told reporters after attending a meeting with the personnel at the Tun Razak army camp in Bayan Lepas.

When asked how many trainees had tested positive for the virus, Ahmad Zahid said:”We are not sure how many of them were [infected] but from the information I got, none, [including our staff], had returned from [abroad].”

He urged parents not to panic as the ministry would take drastic action to tackle the problem.

Doctors will be queried

In PUTRAJAYA, Director-General of Health Services, Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican, said doctors who failed to comply with Health Ministry guidelines to detect the A(H1N1) infection would be asked for an explanation.

He said the investigation was not meant to penalise doctors but to understand their non-compliance for early detection.

He said the Director of the Disease Control Division, Datuk Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman, would instruct a team to question the doctors concerned to get further information on the medical examinations carried out.

“If there are doctors who still don’t adhere to the guidelines, we will call up the doctors concerned, ask them whether they understand (the guidelines issued).

“Some of them may not understand, so I will call them. Like in the case [of a patient] who died within 24 hours [the first A(H1N1) death], he saw the doctor and after one hour, he died.

“So, I want to find out from the doctor, did he examine the patient? And if so, why was it not recorded in the outpatient department card? How can a patient collapse just like that?” Dr Mohd Ismail said.

“I was told that some doctors don’t even own a computer, so please buy a computer, hook on to the internet and visit our (ministry’s) website so that they will be up to date in the management of their patients. And it is not just for A(H1N1), it is for continual professional development.”

Dr Mohd Ismail said this when asked about the action to be taken against doctors who failed to adhere to the guidelines on examining Influenza A(H1N1) as stipulated by the Meeting of the Technical Committee on the Influenza A(H1N1) yesterday. 

Asked about the four fatal cases thus far, Dr Mohd Ismail said so far, the doctors concerned were only given reminders, and further action would depend on subsequent developments.

He also said doctors could not refuse to see patients with influenza-like illness on their second visit, and the patients could actually insist on being tested for Influenza A(H1N1) on their second visit, if they had not recovered from their flu.

When asked about a case in Hospital Kuala Lumpur where a patient suffering from asthma and suspected to be infected with A(H1N1) was asked to go home and rest instead, Dr Mohd Ismail said he would bring the matter up with the hospital. — Bernama

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