PUTRAJAYA, 14 May 2009: All suspected Influenza A (H1N1) cases tested in the country so far have proven to be negative, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
He said it included the case in Ipoh, Perak involving a man who had visited Thailand last week and that of a Sarawak woman who was admitted to the isolation ward of the Sarawak General Hospital yesterday following her return from Massachusetts, United States.
“As of today, there has been no case of Influenza A(H1N1). We are a nation that is free of this virus,” he told reporters after chairing a meeting on the export of seafood products to the European Union, here today.
Liow said to date, the ministry had examined 60 people for the virus, and yesterday alone, a total of 10 cases were tested.
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely. I updated the cabinet yesterday that long-term countermeasures are in place to handle the pandemic.
“We cannot treat the matter lightly and must tighten checks at all entry points to ensure the virus does not come to our shores,” he said.
In KUALA LUMPUR, Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said no new countries had been affected by the pandemic, leaving the number of countries hit to remain at 33.
However, he said the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that the number of cases had increased to 6,079 with 63 deaths, the latest two deaths happening in Mexico.
He said WHO was still maintaining the pandemic alert level at Phase Five and had not recommended any restrictions in terms of travel or trade or the need to close borders at any country.
“However, it is important for people experiencing symptoms like fever, cough, flu or throat irritation to delay trips abroad while those returning to Malaysia from overseas with similar symptoms should seek medical treatment,” he said in a statement.
Ismail said as of midnight last night, the Health Ministry’s Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) received notification of six suspected cases admitted to the isolation ward of the Sungai Buloh Hospital, two cases at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital, Ipoh and a case each at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kota Kinabalu and Sarawak General Hospital, Kuching.
However, all the cases tested negative for influenza A(H1N1).
He added that till yesterday, 12,246 individuals were screened at entry points in the country, and of the number, 11,693 were screened at airports, 236 at ports and 317 at land entry points. — Bernama