Sunday, May 17, 2009

Immediate home quarantine a must for those who took Flight AK5358

Health departments nationwide have been directed to place under immediate home quarantine all those on AirAsia Flight AK5358 last Wednesday from the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang to Penang.

The five crew members on the flight have already been located and quarantined.

Passengers with any flu symptoms must get themselves warded at the nearest hospital immediately, deputy health-director-general Datuk Dr Ramlee Rahmat said at a press briefing yesterday.

There were 102 passengers – all believed to be Malaysians – on the flight, among them the country’s second A (H1N1) flu case, a 21-year-old female Malaysian student who had flown in from the United States.

AirAsia said it was working with the ministry to contact the passengers on the flight.

Dr Ramlee said passengers could contact the ministry at 03-8881-0200 or 03-8881-0300 or the health department for assistance and monitoring during the quarantine.

The ministry has also distributed the passenger contact list to state health departments, he added.

The female student boarded the AirAsia flight about four hours after her flight – MH091 from Newark Airport, New Jersey, via Stockholm – landed at KLIA at 7.15am last Wednesday.

Malaysia’s first A (H1N1) case, a 21-year-old man, was also on Flight MH091. She has been warded at the Penang Hospital and he at the Sungai Buloh Hospital. Both are friends and are recovering, Dr Ramlee said.

Their seven-day quarantine ends on Wednesday.

On the other 117 passengers on MH091 who disembarked at KLIA, Dr Ramlee said the ministry managed to get 95 of them – 80 Malaysians and 15 foreigners – under home quarantine. The 15 crew members are also under home quarantine.

“We are tracking down the rest,” he said.

On the screening of passengers entering the country, Dr Ramlee said 9,966 were screened on Saturday, and three were picked up at KLIA and warded at the Sungai Buloh Hospital for observation.

Up to Saturday, the ministry had screened 103,536 people at various entry points.

From Saturday till yesterday morning, Dr Ramlee said the ministry received reports on 18 suspected cases, but all have been confirmed to be free from H1N1.

On the cumulative number of notified cases nationwide to date, Dr Ramlee said there were 102 cases, two of them confirmed to be the H1N1 flu.

Source : STAR
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