Two more school closures today

PUTRAJAYA (NST) , Tue: Two more schools have been closed from today, raising to four the schools shut down so far as the number people who have contracted Influenza A(H1N1) rose by 10 to 68 as of today. The Seri Cempaka International School in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, has been ordered to close until Saturday and the Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Assunta 1 in Petaling Jaya for a week. Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (C) Jalan Davidson in Kuala Lumpur and Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Assunta 2 in Petaling Jaya are also closed until Saturday. Three other schools have one class in each closed until Saturday. They are Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seksyen 9 Shah Alam and Sekolah Menengah Wangsa Maju Seksyen 2, Kuala Lumpur. Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said the Seri Cempaka International School now has two cases of the disease among its students. The country’s 62nd Influenza A(H1N1) case, a 16-year-old Malaysian student of the school, developed fever, cough and sore throat on June 20 after having come into contact with another student, the country’s 42nd case, also of the same school, he told reporters. Dr Mohd Ismail said the 10 new cases of the disease involved students of the Seri Cempaka International School, two of them from local transmission and eight imported — five Malaysian, one Yemeni, one Swiss and one Italian. Of the total 68 cases, 59 were imported and nine through local transmission, he said.

Malaysia Asia Swine Flu

Dr Mohd Ismail said that with the transmission of the disease in schools, it might be necessary for schools to conduct internal screening, with the teachers encouraged to examine the students and pupils for fever. He said a decision on the proposal and how to conduct the examination would be announced tomorrow after a meeting of the technical committee to discuss the measures to be adopted in schools. He also said that students who had visited countries such as the Philippines, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States would be advised to undergo self-quarantine for seven days and keep away from school. He reminded the people against withholding information on their having come into contact with those tested positive for the disease, saying that they could be penalised for failure to furnish complete information. This was to ensure that local transmission of the disease would be kept to a minimum. Dr Mohd Ismail said that of the 10 new cases, the 59th case was a Malaysian girl who had returned to the country from San Francisco, arriving at the KL International Airport on June 19 without any symptoms. He said she developed fever, sore throat and cough on June 21 and was admitted to the Sungai Buloh Hospital and was confirmed to be Influenza A(H1N1) positive the following day. He said the 60th and 61st cases involved Malaysians, one of them a 14-year-old female student and the other a 23-year-old man. The student had returned to Malaysia from Melbourne on June 18, developed the symptoms on June 20 and received treatment at the Sime Darby Medical Centre in Subang Jaya on June 21, he said, adding that she was referred to the Sungai Buloh Hospital.

A Staff puts a notice board at the school gate as the school was order to close for 7 days due to H1N1 case on Sunday, June 21, 2009. Malaysia Health Ministry official said the country has ordered the first school to close amid eight new cases, bringing the country’s total number of infections to 50. Two of the new cases are students at the school. Image taken from: Suomen Kuvalehti.fi

A Staff puts a notice board at the school gate as the school was order to close for 7 days due to H1N1 case on Sunday, June 21, 2009. Malaysia Health Ministry official said the country has ordered the first school to close amid eight new cases, bringing the country’s total number of infections to 50. Two of the new cases are students at the school. Image taken from: Suomen Kuvalehti.fi

The man had returned to Malaysia on June 19 and travelled to Kuching the same day, developed symptoms of the disease the following day and was admitting to the Sarawak General Hospital on June 21, he said. Dr Mohd Ismail said the 63rd case, a 24-year-old Yemeni national, arrived in Malaysia from Bangkok on June 19 and developed fever and cough the following day. He received treatment at the Damansara Specialist Hospital on June 21 and was admitted to the Sungai Buloh Hospital the following day. The 64th case was a 54-year-old Swiss national who had arrived in Malaysia with his wife on June 21 and developed fever and cough on June 18 and was admitted to the Tuanku Jaafar Hospital in Seremban yesterday. Dr Mohd Ismail said the 65th case was a 19-year-old Italian national who had completed a three-month study in Melbourne and arrived in Malaysia on June 21. He developed fever, cough and headache the same day and was admitted to the Tuanku Jaafar Hospital in Seremban yesterday. He said the 66th case was a 11-year-old Malaysian male pupil who had contracted the disease from the 36th case, a pupil of the SRJK (C) Jalan Davidson, Kuala Lumpur, on June 20 and was admitted to the Sungai Buloh Hospital yesterday. The 67th and 68th cases were a five-year-old girl who lives in Manila and who had returned to Malaysia and a 42-year-old man who had gone to Manila, he said. He said the girl had accompanied her mother back to Malaysia on June 20 and gone on to Penang. She had developed symptoms of the disease on June 21 and was admitted to the Penang Hospital yesterday. The man had come back to Malaysia on June 18 and driven to Penang where he fell ill on June 21 and was admitted to the Penang Hospital yesterday. Dr Mohd Ismail said the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that as of 8am today, the cumulative cases of the disease had risen to 52,687 with 231 deaths in 99 countries, an increase of 7,709 cases. He said the countries which reported a high number of new cases were the United States (3,594), Chile (1,190), Canada (805), the United Kingdom (754) and Australia (297).

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Six killed in Washington-area Metro train collision

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A rush-hour collision Monday between two Metro trains north of downtown Washington, D.C., killed at least six people and injured scores, Mayor Adrian Fenty said.

One train was stationary when the crash happened, according to Metro General Manager John Catoe.

One train was stationary when the crash happened, according to Metro General Manager John Catoe.

He called it the deadliest crash in the history of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, known as Metro. One of the dead was the female operator of one of the trains, Metro officials said.

“The scene is as horrific as you can imagine,” Fenty said in a news conference. “One car was almost squeezed completely together.”

The crash happened just before 5 p.m. on an above-ground track on the Red Line in the District of Columbia near the border with Takoma Park, Maryland. Watch woman say she, fellow passengers ‘went flying’ Video

Seventy people were treated at the scene — 56 with minor injuries, 12 with moderate injuries and two with life-threatening injuries, according to Chief Dennis Rubin of Washington’s Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department. See location of crash »

Both trains were on the same track, and one of them was stationary when the crash happened, said John Catoe, Metro general manager.

Video footage of the scene showed two cars of one train lying atop the cars of another train. Emergency personnel carried injured passengers, some on stretchers, from the wreckage. Video Watch injured passengers limp from the scene »

“Metro officials do not know the cause of the collision and are not likely to know the cause for several days as the investigation unfolds,” a Metro statement said.

Fire department personnel cut through the trains to help people from the wreckage, officials said at a press briefing. Some three hours after the accident, fire department sources said rescue operations had ceased, with ongoing work focusing on recovery.

Jodie Wickett, a nurse who was a passenger on one of the trains, said she was was texting on her phone when she felt a bump.

“About 5-10 seconds later, the train came to a complete halt — we went flying,” Jodie Wickett said.

She said she went through some of the cars, trying to help people.

“There was debris and people pinned underneath,” she said.

Ten to 15 minutes passed before she saw emergency personnel, she said.

Groups of people wearing green plastic ribbons to show they had been checked by paramedics left the scene about 90 minutes after the crash. Some were crying, and a woman with her arm in a sling who gave her name as Tijuana described the crash as “an earthquake.”

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, NTSB spokeswoman Bridget Serchak said.

At least two FBI officials were at the scene, and the FBI confirmed it was assisting as part of the National Capital Response Squad.

Amy Kudwa of the Department of Homeland Security said “at this early stage,” there was no indication of anything other than an accidental collision.

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“We will continue to monitor closely and provide support in any way needed,” Kudwa said.

It was the second Metro crash to involve fatalities in the 33-year history of the transit authority. In January 1982, a derailment killed three people. The only other collision between Metro trains occurred in 2004.

“We are extremely saddened that there are fatalities as a result of this accident, which has touched our Metro family,” Catoe said in a statement.

“Our safety officials are investigating, and will continue to investigate until we determine why this happened and what must be done to ensure it never happens again.”