Three more deaths have been reported from the Influenza A (H1N1) virus, bringing the overall death toll to 62.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said there were delays in administering patients with anti-viral treatment in two of the three deaths.
“The ministry will check on why there was a delay,” he said yesterday.
The delay involved a three-year-old boy who was admitted on Aug 1 for fever, cough and dyspnea for five days where he received anti-viral treatment beginning Aug 3 but died last Friday due to severe pneumonia, he said.
The other case was a 50-year-old man warded on Aug 3 with cough, fever, dyspnea, vomitting and diarrohea, he said.
He had influenza-like symptoms since July 28 and anti-viral drugs were given on Aug 4 but he died last Friday due to septicemia and pneumonia, Liow said.
In the third case, a six-year-old Down Syndrome boy suffered from congenital heart problem despite being given anti-viral treatment on the same day he was admitted to hospital on Aug 9 for cough, fever and dyspnea.
He died on Aug 13 due to severe pneumonia with underlying problems and complications.
Speaking after launching a healthy lifestyle campaign here, Liow said there were 283 new cases of infection, bringing the tally up to 3,857 cases.
Thirty-three patients remained in the intensive care unit and out of the number, 16 had co-morbid conditions and chronic diseases while 213 were hospitalised in normal wards, he said.
He urged the public to practise social distancing when they have influenza-like symptoms.
The ministry could apply the Disease Control Act to fine those who knowingly infect others up to RM10,000 or jail up to two years, he said.
On private doctors recently saying that they were reluctant to stock up much anti-virals because the ministry’s guidelines were inconsistent, and that they would prescribe the drug on a case-to-case basis, Liow said the guidelines were clear.
On private doctors complaining about the high prices and the lack of stock of the drugs, he said the Government would talk to the supplier with the hope that they could reduce the price and make it available to everyone.