By NG CHENG YEE, GLADYS TAY and AUSTIN CAMOENS
PUTRAJAYA: Twelve more cases of the Influenza A(H1N1)have been reported, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said on Wednesday.
He said of the number 10 were imported cases and two were locally transmitted bringing the total number of cases in the country to 80.
He added that 10 more government hospitals are now allowed to take throat swab of patients suspected to be infected with the virus.
Meanwhile, Johor has reported its first confirmed Influenza A (H1N1) case of a 19-year-old female student who returned from Melbourne via Changi Airport Singapore on flight SQ0238 on June 22.
Johor Women, Family, Community Development and Health committee chairman Dr Robiah Kosai said the student had been in Melbourne for the last six months.
She said the girl’s parents and two siblings had fetched her from the airport on a Johor Baru-Singapore taxi.
“The student did not show any symptoms of fever or influenza when she entered the countries (Singapore and Malaysia) but developed the symptoms when she arrived home in Johor Baru,” she said, adding that she tested positive on the night of June 23.
She added that the student was being treated at Hospital Sultanah Aminah while her family members are quarantined at home for a week.
“The 36-year-old taxi driver and his family are also quarantined at home for a week,” she said at a press conference adding that the staff from the Health Department would monitor their condition.
Dr Robiah said the student’s 16-year-old brother and sister, 17, are studying at Sekolah Datuk Jaafar and SMK Infant Jesus Convent respectively.
“Today (June 24), a team from the health department will be visiting the schools for investigations,” she said adding that the patient’s grandmother had passed away in the morning due to old age.
Dr Robiah said that the officers from the health department would assist the family throughout the funeral services to ensure they do not expose anyone else to the virus.
She added that the State Welfare Department would also provide assistance to the taxi driver as he would be losing a week’s earnings due to the quarantine order.
State Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Hoo Seong Chang urged frontliners in the tourism sector to increase their precautionary measures such as wearing mask when dealing with clients.
“They include taxi drivers, tourist guides and those working in the hotels,” he said, adding that these people usually come in contact with foreigners.
Hoo advised people against traveling to countries reported with the virus.
“If they have already taken their annual leave, they can consider travelling locally or postpone their holidays,” he said.
Source : http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/6/24/nation/20090624094550&sec=nation