Coronavirus threat: MoH urges personnel to take extra precautions

A stethoscope. - file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

KUCHING, Jan 26: Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah calls for more stringent practices to curb the spread of the Wuhan novel coronavirus (nCoV), especially at the country’s international points of entry.

According to Dr Noor Hisham, it is important that medical officers and personnel involved in dealing with patients in health clinics, hospital emergency rooms, medical and pediatric wards, and forensic and laboratory departments to take precautions at all times to ensure optimum infection control and prevention.

He urged personnel on duty at the country’s points of entry should focus international travelers with symptoms related to fever.

“Strengthening and emphasising the fever screening activities among international travelers, especially if the individual is categorised under “Patient Under Investigation” (PUI), the case must be refer to the related facilities and precautionary measure must be the top priority all the time,” he asserted in a statement.

Dr Noor Hisham also emphasised that the Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) and Rapid Assesment Teams (RATs) at district level should be on alert and ready to be deployed in the field, while patient screening at health clinics and hospitals should also be intensified to ensure any PUI cases will be handled with proper preventive and infection control measure.

“A designated ambulance will be used to transport PUI and the disinfection process will be conducted at the hospital that receives the case. Specifically, the PUI case management will include isolation wards in government hospitals with the necessary facilities to reduce the risk of outbreak among health personnel.

“This will include the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in term of patient management, medical treatment and infection control,” he added.

Dr Noor Hisham also pointed out that personal protective equipment (PPE) for all medical personnel involved must be stockpiled, including medicine, to ensure sufficient supplies in every health facility.

He emphasised laboratory equipment and tools for detection tests should also be in good condition.

“Always be aware of the latest development and make sure that preparation in handling the incident in Malaysia is optimised.

“The Ministry of Health (MoH) will continue to monitor the patients’ situation and information from the World Health Organisation (WHO) will be updated from time to time,” he said.

To date, a total of four cases of the Wuhan nCoV had been confirmed by the MoH, with the latest confirmation being a 40-year-old man from Wuhan, China. — DayakDaily