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Influenza A(H1N1): 48 new cases detected

KUALA LUMPUR, 2 July 2009: Forty eight new cases of Influenza A(H1N1), comprising 40 imported and eight locally-transmitted cases, were detected as of 8am today, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 244.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said of the 48 new cases, 36 involved Malaysians and the other 12 were foreigners.

“Of the 12, four are Indonesians, two each from Singapore, the Philippines and Australia, and one each from China and Italy,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.

Of the local cases, five are students of Sekolah Menengah Tsun Jin, Jalan Loke Yew, here, while one person contracted the flu from the 213th imported case. The other two cases are still being investigated.

Liow said 128 of the total 244 cases had fully recovered from the flu after receiving anti-viral treatment and were discharged from hospital.

“The other 116 are still being treated, with 85 of the cases confirmed positive while 31 are still waiting for the results of the laboratory tests. All the confirmed cases have responded well to treatment.”

He said four of the 739 who were in close contact with those infected and who were then home-quarantined had developed symptoms and were admitted to hospital for examination.

“The number of investigated cases for suspected Influenza A(H1N1) came to 2,471, with 244 of them confirmed positive while 64 cases are still awaiting the results of the tests.”

On the issue of saliva tests on local and foreign tourists with flu symptoms at the country’s entry/exit points, Liow said it was just a precautionary measure and not to inconvenience them.

“Malaysia is a safe place to visit and we welcome tourists. We will not simply quarantine or cause difficulties to visitors to our country.

“We have to take strict precautions due to the fast rising number of cases, but at home, our number (of cases) is still small compared to the figures in other parts of the world,” he said.

Liow advised those having a cold or cough to use a face mask to prevent the virus from spreading to others.

“I also hope that the private sector will provide free face masks to the people as a corporate social responsibility,” he said.

Earlier, Liow held a dialogue session with 26 Members of Parliament and briefed them on the latest Influenza A(H1N1) situation in the country.

“The MPs will bring back all the information to the people, and they will be organising activities at the community level to inform the people of Influenza A(H1N1),” he said. — Bernama

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