Malacca records almost 50% increase in HFMD cases

MALACCA: Malacca recorded an increase of almost 50% in the number of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) cases, totalling 1,446 since Jan 1 until last Wednesday, from 795 cases during the corresponding period last year.

State Health Committee chairman Low Chee Leong said despite the increasing trend and with a few schools and child centres ordered to close, the outbreak of the disease was still under control.

Various initiatives had been taken by the Health Department to contain the spread of the disease, as well as enhance public awareness on HFMD, he told a press conference after launching the state-level World's Blood Donors Day here yesterday.

Also present were Malacca Health director Datuk Dr Ghazali Othman and Melaka Hospital Blood Bank unit head Dr Noramiza Mat Amin.

Meanwhile, Dr Ghazali advised the public to emphasise on cleanliness and hygiene to curb the spread of HFMD.

"Parents or guardians who have children having symptoms of HFMD should not send the kids to school and take them to public places," he added.

In another development, Dr Noramiza said the Department of Transfusion Medicine was targeting to collect 30,000 bags of blood through blood donation campaigns organised by government agencies, private sector and non-governmental organisations this year.

He said as of last Wednesday, the Malacca Hospital had collected 15,942 bags of blood.

"Normally, we get about 2,500 units of blood bags every month and based on last year's collection of 30,440 bags of blood, we can achieve the target," he added. — Bernama