Kedah Health Department ready to face MERS-CoV

ALOR STAR: The Kedah Health Department is on standby to prevent and control the transmission of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) by haj pilgrims returning home from Sept 26 to Oct 1.

Its director Datuk Dr Norhizan Ismail said, among the measures to be taken, are screening of passengers at the entry points to the international airport and all health facilities at the Health Ministry and others to detect if any pilgrims showed symptoms of the infection.

"Continuous monitoring through the Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and Serve Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) surveillance system is conducted to prevent and control the possibility of transmission in the state besides raising better public health awareness.

"We have also conducted a simulation exercise on MERS-CoV prevention on Aug 23 to assess the level of health facilities and take remedial action if necessary," he said in a statement here today.

He also reminded the public returning from performing the umrah in Makkah or had visited countries in the Middle East to immediately report any cases of MERS-CoV.

The first phase of pilgrims will start arriving at the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport, Kepala Batas via the second phase from Madinah and transit at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) before returning to Alor Setar on 25 flights from Sept 26 to Oct 1.

The latest information on MERS-CoV infection can be obtained from the site — Bernama