Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Liow: Make smaller masks

By WANI MUTHIAH and MAZWIN NIK ANIS

KLANG: Manufacturers of masks have been urged to consider making smaller masks for children in addition to the standard ones.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the standard-sized masks, which come with elastic bands to hold them in place, were too big and loose for children.

“It won’t be effective if they are loose,” Liow told reporters after handing over boxes of surgical masks to schools in the Klang parliamentary constituency.

He also briefed teachers and students about the Influenza A(H1N1) at the event at the SJK (C) Pandamaran A yesterday.

That’s better: Liow adjusting the mask of a pupil of SJK (C) Pandamaran A in Port Klang yesterday during a campaign to stop the H1N1 disease. — Bernama

He said it was important for schoolchildren to take preventative measures because if the infections occurred in schools, the outbreak would be rapid.

Liow also said it was the collective responsibility of all teachers and principals to examine their students to detect if they had fever, adding that if they did, they should be sent home.

Teachers, he said, should be on high alert at all times to identify pupils who were not well.

He said the country was well prepared in tackling the outbreak, pointing out that the Government allocated some RM158mil to strengthen and instill the necessary measures to counter the pandemic.

Malaysians were told to take all the necessary precautions as the World Health Organisation had given six months to a year for the pandemic to subside.

Meanwhile, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said the authorities were in the midst of determining if three deaths reported in Negri Sembilan on Sunday were due to Influenza A(H1N1).

“The cases, involving victims aged between 24 and 42, have been forwarded to the Mortality Review Committee. The committee will announce its findings as soon as possible,” he said yesterday.

Currently, the death toll stands at 72.

Dr Ismail said 278 new patients had been warded for influenza-like illness (ILI) over the past one day.

He also said that a total of 1,373 patients were being treated for ILI nationwide and of the number, only 193 people were confirmed to have been infected with Influenza A(H1N1) and 43 of them were being treated in the Intensive Care Unit. - The Star

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