Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Swine Flu A(H1N1) in Malaysia

EDIT: 4th July 2009:
Have a read about the experience of this Australian father and son being held in quarantine here, after one was diagnosed with AH1N1.

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Having read this article in the Star today, I have googled but could not find further information. I felt I therefore, that I had to write an email to the tourism board (enquiries@tourism.gov.my) to clarify the country's stance on this matter. I keep seeing these "Malaysia Truly Asia" adverts here on a daily basis, but I feel people enticed by it could unknowingly be subjecting themselves to a 7 day prison sentence!

Malaysia does not have a Swine Flu problem (under 100 confirmed cases to date), but the government's policy on swine flu could keep the visitors away.

I shall be publishing any response I receive on this blog.

Dear Sir / Madam,

I am writing on behalf of the many people around the world who may be planning to visit Malaysia. Having read the article below in the Star today, what assurance can you provide us, that foreign visitors from the same countries will not also be unnecessarily quarantined as a result?


The country relies heavily on the tourism industry, and in the current economic climate, it certainly cannot afford to lose out on this avenue of income because of government policy, which is not in line with the World Health Organisation's stance on the virus. Back in April, the WHO stated:

"Given the widespread presence of the virus, … containment of the outbreak is not feasible. The current focus should be on mitigation measures.."

I shall be publishing this email in my blog here and would be grateful for a response and assurances you can provide which may affect the readers' decision whether to visit Malaysia or not.

Thanks in Advance


Lannae said...

It never occurred to me that tourists from the USA, UK, Australia and the Philippines should be quarantined to protect the population from the swine flu. I wonder why they did not include Mexico (ground zero) in the list. Do post any responses. I am quite interested in what others are saying about this topic.

white man in asia said...

This sounds very heavy handed to me, especially as a Brit about to visit Malaysia from the Philippines. Very tempted to call off my trip there.

Tummythoz said...

Hmm.. so d tourists will have to stay in their hotels for 7 days upon arrival?

Nette said...

hi hazza, kindly update us on the tourism board's reply. my sister and a friend will be coming to KL this august, and we're thinking if we would still push through with this plan. thanks!

Hazza said...

Hi all, I am afraid I have not had a response yet. However, a relative said that the Sun (Malaysia) receotly reported the following:

Liow said throat swabs are only for those who show symptoms, adding that foreigners who are infected will be quarantined in hospital and treated.

Malaysians returning from infected countries and showing symptoms will be tested and given treatment before being sent home for quarantine.

"However, if laboratory tests are positive for the infection, then the individuals will be brought to hospital to be treated," he said.

Liow also clarified that visitors entering the country would be quarantined or hospitalised only if they had symptoms of being infected by H1N1.

"Statements saying that visitors coming to Malaysia will be quarantined is untrue. Their contacts in the flight will not be quarantined unless those visiting are confirmed positive and only those seated three seats nearest them will be quarantined," he said.

Nette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nette said...

Thanks for this Hazza. I would like to add that I have called the MY Health Ministry, and they referred me to the MY H1N1 hotline.

And yes, only those who show symptoms (be it foreigner or returning local) will be quarantined.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am looking to travel to KL in August and the advice I got from my hosts there was a little strange.

Apparently, people flying in from London have to go into self quarantine .... but not from other UK airports.

Very puzzling!

Ah1n1 said...

read more H1n1 info in Malaysia thru this link

Domestic Diva said...

that's funny, as I was in KL back in Jul/Aug. They didnt do too much at the airport, although I did go in to Malaysia from US via the Philippines.

Sheldon said...

Some people have their self quarantine. Some also have their regular consultation to the doctor. Some have a test using ELISA kit. There are now many ELISA kit manufacturers that are ready to provide us the easy way in detecting kind of diseases.

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