From Wuhan, China, the Coronavirus spreads to the Rest of the World including Malaysia!

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s public healthcare system is equipped to deal with possible cases of a coronavirus spreading across China and beyond, said Deputy Health Minister Lee Boon Chye on Wednesday (Jan 22).

The minister was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times that 26 government and specialist hospitals had been identified to handle, monitor and treat coronavirus-related cases.

“They include all the state hospitals and major specialist hospitals with an infectious disease unit. Every state will have at least one hospital that can provide isolation and treatment to patients,” he said.

He said it would be preferable for patients to be treated in public hospitals, unless the private hospitals have facilities to isolate patients and ensure that protective measures have been put in place for the staff.

“I think most private hospitals are not equipped with that,” he noted.

In order for hospitals to handle coronavirus-related cases, they will need to meet certain requirements under the health ministry’s standard procedures on potential outbreak of infectious diseases, the minister said.

“First, the patients need to be isolated. Second, the healthcare providers should have adequate protection with special protective gear to keep them from being infected.

“And, finally, the facilities should have the capacity to perform contact tracing and monitoring,” the New Straits Times report quoted him as saying.

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Dominic Low

SINGAPORE – In response to the growing outbreak of a mysterious Wuhan virus that has already infected nearly 600 people and killed at least 17 in China, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) has disseminated two medical advisories to its service personnel earlier this month, it told The Straits Times on Thursday (Jan 23).

The first advisory, issued on Jan 3, instructed service personnel with flu-like symptoms to seek medical attention and highlight their travel history to their unit medical officers.

This was reiterated in the second advisory disseminated on Tuesday, which also included reminders for personnel to remain vigilant, adopt good personal hygiene measures and regularly check the websites of the Ministry of Health when travelling overseas.

“Both medical advisories are in addition to the current temperature-taking regime in the Singapore Armed Forces to detect soldiers who are unwell before training,” Mindef said.

“Soldiers with temperatures above 37.5 deg C will be sent for medical evaluation.”

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During the Sars epidemic, Mindef had also introduced precautionary measures including disseminating information on the virus, tips on personal hygiene, travel advisories and procedures for handling suspected Sars cases.

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