Zika viral infection diseases under control: Dr Subramaniam

17 Oct 2016 / 18:48 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prevention and control of the zika viral infection here have so far been effective and the cases were still sporadic and not spreading fast like in other countries.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the programmes it had conducted jointly with other ministries and agencies had been effective and had a positive impact.
"We have been successful in controlling the entry of zika from major problem areas such as Central and South America. When zika is imported from neighbouring countries and spreads fast, the risks of it entering Malaysia is very high due to the large number of people crossing the borders.
"We are also monitoring the international gateways as well as distributing a health advisory to tourists and Malaysians.
"A thermal scanner screening is also conducted on tourists coming into the country to detect fevers," he said at the Dewan Rakyat sitting here today.
He was responding to a question from Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (BN-Lenggong) on the ministry's action plan to curb the spread of the zika virus especially in eradicating the breeding places of the Aedes mosquito.
Dr Subramaniam said the monitoring, coordination, prevention and control measures were being conducted at the national, state and district levels.
He added that from Aug 31 to Oct 8 this year, only seven zika cases were confirmed throughout the country, namely Sabah (2), Johor (2), Selangor (1), Sarawak (1) and the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya (1).
He said the principle and strategy used to tackle the threat of a new disease, including dengue, zika virus and Chikungunya were in three phases, namely prevention, containment and mitigation. "The long, medium and short-term measures to tackle dengue are also effective for zika. In this context, the focus of the ministry is on public responsibility and participation in ensuring the environment is free of Aedes," he said.
Replying to a question from Oscar Ling Chai Yew (DAP-Sibu) on the absence of the thermal screening at the Sibu Airport, Dr Subramaniam said this was only done at international gateways which were the main entry points for foreign tourists into the country before moving on to domestic gateways. — Bernama


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