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.
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.
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).