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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

H1N1 : Government To Announce Standard Guidelines For School Closure

SERDANG, Aug 11 (Bernama) -- Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said standard guidelines will be announced tomorrow for school closures due to Influenza A(H1N1).

"The Health Ministry's technical committee will be meeting tomorrow to make sure the guidelines are comprehensive. We will announce the measures tomorrow and will also inform the Education Ministry," he said after a visit to Serdang Hospital to see for himself the treatment of A(H1N1) patients.

Liow said the new guidelines would standardise the current practice as the government moved into the mitigation phase of the pandemic.

He added that there had been changes to the pandemic situation. "We need new guidelines to ensure schools and universities will have the same standard operating procedure for the closure."

Currently, schools use different response to the threat, with some shutting down if there were students with flu-like symptoms.

Due to the spike in H1N1 cases, Liow reminded private doctors and hospitals to use the approved rapid test system to help the government battle the pandemic.

"From now on, doctors are allowed to use the rapid test on A(H1N1) suspects so that antiviral treatment can be given as quickly as possible," he said.

Liow also sought the cooperation of suppliers not to hike up the price of face masks.

"This is for national security, everybody should contribute and help. If the price of masks is going up, I think it's uncalled for.

"Suppliers should be more responsible and should not increase the price," he said.


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