KUCHING: Malaysia is still in the containment phase in the wake of two cases involving Zika virus infections in the country.
Health Deputy Director-General (public health) Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said the ministry is sparing no effort to curb the spread of the virus.
"Malaysia is still in the containment phase in the wake of the Zika virus.
"At the moment, the Health Ministry is doing all it can to contain the spread of the virus.
"What we are doing right now is screen anyone at risk of exposure to the virus and having symptoms of contracting Zika," Dr Lokman told reporters at the 21st Joint Malaysia – Singapore Nursing Conference 2016 at the Borneo Convention Centre today.
The conference was officiated by State Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, who appeared on behalf of Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
State Health Department director Dr Jamilah Hashim was also present.
Dr Lokman said he did not rule out the possibility that Malaysia can become like Singapore - which has declared Zika virus as being spread within the community - if the people do not cooperate with the authorities in destroying all mosquito breeding grounds.
"There is hope that we can still contain the spread of the virus if Malaysians work together with the authorities to ensure their places are clean and free from any mosquito breeding grounds.
"The ministry and the authorities cannot do this alone without the help from the community.
"All dengue hotspots are also considered hotspots for Zika since the virus is being spread by the same vector, which is the Aedes mosquito," he added.
As for Sarawak, he said the ministry is concerned with Sibu as a number of locations in the division houses dengue hotspots.
Meanwhile, Dr Jamilah said some 3,000 passengers and crews of direct flights from Singapore into Sarawak have been screened since the first case of the Zika virus was detected in the country.
She said the screening process were conducted at the Kuching International Airport and Miri International Airport.
"However, no cases of suspected Zika were reported," she said.
Earlier during the launch of the conference, Fatimah had announced that Adenan had approved a RM42,000 grant from the state government to the organising committee of the conference.