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Badan swasta perlu wujud pelan kontingen pandemic selsema burung

Private Sector Urged To Set Up Birdflu Contingency Plan

KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 (Bernama) - The private sector is urged to put in place a contigency plan to face any potential Bird Flu pandemic, Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said.

He said although the government was fully prepared, private sector awareness towards this disease was still low as they were unaware of the seriousness of its impact, should the disease hit any country in the region.

"What we do not have is the cooperation from the private sector. They are not fully aware of the risks.

"We hope the private sector in Malaysia would put in place the contigency plan in the event of a pandemic avian influenza hitting Malaysia," he told reporters after officiating the Malaysian Society of Gastrointestinal Diseases here, Monday.

He said the Ministry had recently conducted a briefing with representatives from various business organisations on the urgent need to set up an action plan in case of a birdflu pandemic.

On the update of the birdflu outbreak in the country, Dr Chua said all the four patients admitted to hospitals following contact with dead chickens were tested negative for birdflu.

He added that the flock of chicken which were suspected to have died of birdflu in Kuala Terengganu last Saturday were also tested H5N1 negative.

"In Sungai Buloh, we have not detected any case of human bird flu. The four patients admitted will be allowed to go back if their fever drops today and returns to normal.

"This is another good sign in Malaysia. Every time they see dead chicken, they come to hospital," he said.

He added that the Ministry was also monitoring health conditions of the frontliners involved in culling and monitoring works on a weekly basis.

"There are some 200,000 of them, health officers, veterinary officers who are involved in culling and the police," he said.

Asked about the outcome of the 2nd Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) Health Ministers Meeting in Sydney, Australia on June 7 and 8 which he attended, Dr Chua said the member countries agreed to cooperate to fight against any potential global bird flu pandemic.

They also reaffirmed commitment to share samples of any new birdflu strain in the effort to safeguard humans from the deadly pandemic.

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