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Zika virus: M'sia to tighten health screening at border following new cases in s'pore

Zika virus: M'sia to tighten health screening at border following new cases in s'pore
HILMI: Even if there was such a case, maybe there were parties who had disguised themselves as health department staff or it could be from a competitor. - Filepic
BALIK PULAU: Malaysia has tightened health screenings at all entry points, especially in Johor, following reports of two new cases of the zika virus in Singapore.

Health Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said so far, there were no reports of the mosquito-borne viral infection involving Malaysians.

"I want the Johor Health Department to be more careful and alert, and perform more stringent monitoring, especially at the Malaysia-Singapore entrance.

"We have body temperature sensors that can detect those having fever at entry points in Johor, and if there are cases (of zika) health officials must take appropriate action.
"But so far, there has been no new cases in Malaysia," he told reporters after presenting contributions to the needy in the Balik Pulau parliamentary constituency here today.

At the event, a total of 850 recipients received cash assistance, rice and other necessities.

Yesterday, Singapore confirmed two new cases of the virus zika, bringing the total number of reported cases in the country to eight.

In September last year, a woman from Bandar Botanic, Klang in Selangor became the first Malaysian infected with zika after visiting her daughter, who was also infected with the virus, in Singapore.

In another development, Dr Hilmi, who is also Balik Pulau MP denied the health ministry had banned the sale of a popular brand of dates after reports on social media claimed they contained worms.

"I have received complaints that staff from the state health department had notified traders of dates not to sell the fruit distributed by a popular brand when in fact, the ministry has never issued such a ban on the matter, and we have made inspections at the warehouse of the company concerned, and no worms were found as claimed on social media.

"Even if there was such a case, maybe there were parties who had disguised themselves as health department staff or it could be from a competitor. However, if date traders are approached by health department staff forbidding them to sell the fruit, they can report it to the health ministry," he said.

He noted the worms found in dates were also not detrimental to health as they were similar to those found in fruits such as durian and mangoes.

-- BERNAMA