Thursday, May 21, 2009

AirAsia passengers to be quarantined - UPDATED

17 May 2009

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry hopes to contact all passengers on AirAsia flight AK 5358 leaving LCCT in Sepang for Penang at 11 a.m. on May 13 (Wednesday), for quarantine purposes after one of the passengers was identified as a confirmed Influenza A (H1N1) victim.

Deputy director-general of Health, Datuk Dr Ramlee Rahmat said the ministry had passed on information about the 101 passengers and five crew members on the flight, to the state health department for quarantine purposes.

"We would like to inform the passengers or flight crew on that flight to cooperate with the health authorities by contacting 03-8881 0200 or 03-8881 0300 for information and preventive measures," he told reporters here today (17 May).

Dr Ramlee said according to procedures, they must be quarantined at their houses for seven days and can only leave the house if they are cleared of any signs or symptoms.

He added that the ministry was also trying to track down 24 passengers, including a Malaysian, who had been on a Malaysia Airlines flight MH091 that arrived at KLIA from Newark, New Jersey (USA) at 7.15am on May 13, the same flight that the two confirmed influenza A victims had flown.

Dr Ramlee said from the 119 passengers who are in the country, three of them were admitted for observation, and two of them were confirmed positive for Influenza A (H1N1) while the others, except for the 24 yet to be identified, had been quarantined at their houses.

As for the two confirmed cases, Dr Ramlee said both were in stable condition and showed positive improvement.

The first victim being treated at the Sungai Buloh Hospital has fever but no cough or flu while the second one at the Penang Hospital does not have fever or any other symptoms.

Dr Ramlee said as of 8am today, the national Crisis Prevention and response Centre (CPRC) received 102 cases that had been referred to hospitals for observation and out of the total, two were positive for Influenza A (H1N1).

He said as of yesterday, 103,536 passengers on flights, were screened at various entry points in the country.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had announced that 38 countries have been identified with the Influenza A (H1N1) virus outbreak with Turkey, India and Peru being the latest addition, he said.

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