H1N1 pandemic: get comparable statistics for Malaysia
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Health Ministry to sort out the statistics on patients infected with Influenza A H1N1 virus.
If we use the same yardsticks as 182 other nations, the figures can be compared. Otherwise, these figures can be misused to put Malaysia in a bad light, affecting such industries as tourism.
Dr Tan comments on the statistics issued by the Health Ministry on pandemic cases in the country.
Never before in the history of the world has a viral disease spread so fast in the globe. From the time the outbreak was reported in Mexico, it has taken about six weeks for the virus to go universal. Now, the diease is seen in 182 countries.
Many infected people scarcely have symptoms. They do not see doctors. Hitherto, over 7,000 patients are recorded in Malaysia with 72 deaths.
Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) recorded 239,985 cases of H1N1 worldwide with 2,601 deaths. But then figures from countries like China, India and Indonesia do not show the true picture. They do not use the same standard. Neither do they report in the same way as Malaysia.
WHO personnel are in Kuala Lumpur to look into the real picture. The Government has set up a task force to inquire into the figures including the causes of deaths among the patients.
Besides using comparable figures for H1N1 cases, we would like to see measures taken by the Health Ministry carried out correctly. For instance, only those patients who have symptoms such as persistent cough and fever need to wear surgical masks. But, the press such as Utusan Malaysia ask the people to wear masks. In addition, it has used the pandemic to attack the Opposition.
Dr Tan Seng Giaw