Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Government Advises Postponing Trips To Mexico, Canada, U.S

The government has advised Malaysians to postpone trips to Mexico, Canada and several states in the United States such as New York, California, Texas, Kansas and Ohio in view of a swine flu outbreak there.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had not imposed any restriction on travel to those places but the people had to be careful so as to prevent the spread of the disease which has already claimed more than 100 lives in Mexico.

"If they do not have important matters to attend to, they should wait until the situation in those countries permitted their travel there," he told reporters after witnessing the handing over of the Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation to the Prince Court Medical Centre, here, Monday.

He said the authorities were cooperating with WHO to introduce preventive measures and added that the Health Ministry had contacted the relevant agencies including the Veterinary Services Department to monitor the situation and prevent the spread of the disease and was looking into a suitable vaccine.

"We have the normal influenza vaccine but for the current H1N1 strain (of swine flu), we have to study the suitable vaccine to be used," he said, adding that the suitable vaccine would be supplied to the pig breeders for their livestock.

"The ministry is in the process of buying the gadgets. We had loaned them during the avian flu epidemic several years ago," he told reporters.

Liow also said that visitors flying in from the United States, Canada and Mexico would be required to complete a form if they showed signs of having fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

"These people will be given treatment to ascertain their health status," he said, adding that the Serdang and Putrajaya hospitals had been turned into quarantine centres for the purpose.

Today, two flights were scheduled to arrive from New York and Los Angeles at 6.45am and 12.15pm respectively, carrying 203 passengers.

Source : Bernama
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