WHO finds Malaysians have low understanding and poor knowledge of A (H1N1)

KUALA LUMPUR: A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that Malaysians have low understanding and poor knowledge on the spread of the Influenza A (H1N1).

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the WHO report he received on Thursday showed the public did not take H1N1 seriously, leading to an increase in cases.

Click STAR Online to read more

Low understanding. complacency or just the ‘tidak apa’ attitude of Malaysians?

Meanwhile in Kuching…

MP wants school holidays extended to contain H1N1

By Irene C

KUCHING: The current mid-semester school holiday should be extended by another week since the Influenza A (H1N1) is expected to reach its peak in the state soon, Bandar Kuching Member of Parliament Chong Chieng Jen said yesterday.

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FOR CONSIDERATION: Chong holding a copy of the letter he submitted to the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Education.

He believed the peak period would be over during the one-week extra holidays.

Speaking at a news conference here, Chong pointed out that the State Disaster Relief Committee chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan had said last week that the outbreak was expected to peak in Sarawak in a week or two.

Therefore, Chong, who is Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) secretary and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said the extension would allow the pandemic to pass its high-risk peak period before the students returned to school.

He said he had written to Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on his suggestion that the one-week school holiday from Aug 22 to Aug 30 be extended till Sept 6.

Read more at Borneo Post online

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Emergency or curfew

> What does a national health emergency mean?

The Government has declared the Influenza A (H1N1) virus situation a health emergency because of persistent community-level transmission of the virus where there are between 200 and 400 new confirmed cases daily.

During this situation, individuals with influenza-like illnesses such as flu, fever and cough must wear a mask and practice self-quarantine by staying home and avoiding contact with family members until the symptoms subside.

> How long would the emergency last?

The emergency will last until local transmissions can be reduced to below 200 confirmed cases per day and when no related deaths have occurred for a period of time.

> What is a national curfew?

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the Government will only

consider declaring a national curfew if A (H1N1)-related deaths exceed 0.4% of the number of confirmed cases multiplied by 20.

This is to take into consideration that for every one case reported, there could be 20 which are not.

> What will happen during a curfew?

A temporary closure of public places such as shops, schools, universities, libraries, shopping complexes and public events during a specified period of the day will be ordered during a curfew.

> Who has the authority to declare a national curfew?

The National Security Council chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will declare a national curfew based on input and recommendations from the Health Ministry.

Extracted from STAR online

I’m concerned with the rate of rising death toll. As of yesterday 9pm, death toll is now 67 for Malaysia. And this morning, when I reached my office, colleagues were using face mask because 3 of our colleagues from one department are down with either fever or not feeling too well and had been sent home. I hope they haven’t contracted the virus.

Take care!

A (H1N1): 2 more die, health curfew if mortality rate reaches 0.4pc (Update 4)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government may declare a national curfew to slow down the spread of Influenza A(H1N1) if the patients’ mortality rate exceed 0.4% based on confirmed cases.

The current rate is calculated based on 20 times the number of confirmed H1N1 cases according to World Health Organisation guidelines, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the current rate was between 0.1% and 0.4% of 4,225 confirmed cases, adding that the Government was treating the situation as a health emergency due to persistent community transmissions.

He said that only the National Security Council, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, could declare a national curfew as a measure to curb the virus’ spread.

A “health curfew” may involve the closure of all schools and the cancellation of all public and social functions, medical sources said.

Public gathering places might also be temporarily closed.

Click here to read more at STAR online

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Pardon my ‘kiasuness’… my only box of 4-fly masks 😉

KUCHING: The Padawan Municipal Council (PMC) has signed up to participate in Earth Hour 2009 this Saturday (March 28).

PMC public relations officer Abdul Razak Awang Bini said yesterday all staff have been directed to turn off all non-essential lights for the programme.

He said the council’s building at Kota Padawan will go dark for Earth Hour.

“We will respond to the call for Earth Hour 2009, and our staff have been directed to switch off the lights at their homes,” said Razak after attending the PMC Integrated Resident Councillorship System (IRCS) launch.

He said the council hoped to contribute to awareness on global warming by participating in the worldwide programme.

Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative that invites individuals, businesses, governments and communities to turn off their lights for one hour to show support for action on climate change.

It began in 2007 in Sydney, where 2.2 million homes and businesses turned off their lights for one hour.

Earth Hour 2009 is will be from 8.30pm to 9.30pm on Saturday.

To date over 1,500 cities and towns in 80 countries have already committed to join the programme.

from Borneo Post Online

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Pictures from Satok Sunday Market – Kuching.

These are the people that made up the multi-races of Sarawak. They were people who crossed my path one time or another…and I always wonder will I ever see them again. Strangers or friends, we are one big family! – And how are you doing today, my friend?

A cloudy day to be out in Kuching. It has been raining a lot in the past few weeks. This is after all the monsoon season. Some parts of Sarawak, for instance Sibu, has been flooded from the overflowing mighty Rejang River – well that’s another story later.

Today is a Saturday, my usual day to do some ration stock up for the week. It was raining in the morning – nice cool morning to stay in bed. Then it occurred to me rain or shine I need to stock up (in case I get flood in with no food!!).

By the time I reached the market it was 11am and vendors have started setting up their marquees, some with tents and some had already opened for business. Though it’s called a Sunday Market, business usually starts around noon on Saturday and closes at around 1-2pm on Sunday. Some of these stalls vendors stay over night at the market place because they come from afar with their jungle produce (wild fern, lemon grass, eggplant, ginger flowers, galangal, etc etc) to sell here once a week.

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This market is where you can find from your slippers to magazines, local fruits to poultry, anything you need at a lower price from the supermarkets. There’s no bargaining at the food section but you can push your luck with the local handicrafts (tee-shirts, handbags, etc) or even the plants and pets sections. I like doing that to the magazine vendor, Elly as she has become my monthly supplier of “previous” month magazines. Hey, I’m not stingy! Just think…would you buy out-dated magazine at retail price?? – I wouldn’t.

Here are some pictures and a video clip taken during my trip this morning.

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