Defence Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi did not dismiss the possibilities that the Adenovirus breakout at the Army Basic Training Centre (Pusasda) in Port Dickson could have originated from the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) in Kuala Lumpur.
He said the virus might have been passed through a Pulapol officer visiting the Pusasda in Telok Kemang. “Although the officer did not communicate directly with trainees in Pusasda, the bacteria could have been present on his body and clothes,” he told a news conference after attending the Defence Ministry’s monthly assembly in Wisma Kementah.
He said the Malaysian Armed Forces and Health Ministry are still looking for the individual concerned. Ahmad Zahid said several immediate measures had been taken to prevent the virus from spreading which included putting the trainees on quarantine and stationing medical officers from the Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital to monitor the situation daily.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai said 11 Pulapol trainees based at the Teluk Kemang Pusasda, Negeri Sembilan, were warded at the Port Dickson Hospital due to Adenovirus and H1N1 since March 31. He said 93 others were quarantined at the camp to ensure the virus did not affect other trainees, but assured that they were all in stable condition. Liow was speaking at a news conference after attending the ministry’s monthly assembly.
He said the ministry had instructed all training centres, including the police and National Service Training Centres, to emphasise on cleanliness and hygiene. “We must improve health and cleanliness levels because the virus spreads quickly. The public is reminded to be cautious when in big groups. There is a proper way to cough,” he said.
The Adenovirus infection claimed the lives of three police trainees at Pulapol in Jalan Semarak, Kuala Lumpur last month. The centre has since been declared free of the virus.