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Friday, 17 July 2009

H1N1: UiTM Students’ Lives at Stake

H1N1: UiTM Students’ Lives at Stake

I would like to share a news that really shocked me to death. I have friends studying in UiTM Lendu, Melaka, the university that was hit by H1N1 last Sunday. I’ve been following closely on this issue as my friends are in danger and I’m also an university student. As I expected, more students are tested positive for H1N1. The situation is not under control anymore and it’s at critical stage. From 4 cases on 11th July, it increased to 6 cases on 15th July and 9 cases today. The nine UiTM students were part of the 10 new cases of the virus recorded today and all of them are local transmitted.

There are many things that are not make public by the university to the media. After the cases were reported in the media, MOH has sent their officers to assist the university medical team. The university’s clinic was packed with students to be screened. Students with serious complication were sent to hospitals while the rest who were affected were quarantine altogether in a room. These students who were being quarantine are allowed to skip classes. Ironically they are allowed to move around in the university and surprisingly without mask. So what’s the point of quarantine? The university has not taken any safety precaution. Some students were not aware of the situation because the university didn’t make any announcement. Plus, the students of UiTM are not provided with mask. Students have to spend their own money to buy masks from the nearby town at Alor Gajah. It’s the university’s responsibility to take care of their students safety and security. Students lived in fear and disgruntled by the move of the university and MOH for not closing the university.

Why after so many cases only MOH directed UiTM to be closed? Parents are worried of their child’s safety. University is a place to gain knowledge not to gain virus. The funny thing is primary schools were closed immediately when 2of its students were confirmed to have H1N1 but why not UiTM? It should had been closed after 4 students are down with the virus. What is there to wait for and what is UiTM trying to hide? Students are even intimidated and forbidden to take pictures of the scenario in the university, afraid that it might leak to the media. The students’ lives are now really at stake. Although today, 16th July, MOH has directed UiTM to be closed until 24th July and the students are allowed to go home, the action would be too late. At least 20 students are contracted with the virus and thousands of students has very high chances of getting it and possibly carrying the virus back to their hometown. I strongly believe that there will be more local transmitted cases coming up especially from UiTM students. Their family members, neighbours and friends will be affected.

All these mishandlings caught my attention to write to the press. I’m so disappointed with the way a well-known university handling the case which have big impact to the society. The public don’t know what is actually happening in the university. Are the university or MOH going to be responsible if the students are dead because of H1N1? This is just some parts of the stories that the public and media are unaware of. I hope that this situation won’t happened in other universities. If it does, please take preventive measures immediately and announce it to the students. I urge the students to quarantine themselves at home and hope they are fine.

16th July 2009

Oh Chin Eng

* i noe la its not that good. was rushing to send it to the press ma. its my first letter to the press ok. plus, English not that good ma. can la..