MIRI: A 24-year-old native woman suffering from Influenza A(H1N1) died at 4am on Monday, a mere two weeks after giving birth to her first child at the intensive care unit of the Miri Hospital.
Her baby girl is safe, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said, adding that this was the states first reported death from the deadly flu.
The woman, from here, was warded on July 17 after she contracted the disease. At that time she was already in an advanced stage of pregnancy.
The hospital managed to help her deliver a baby girl a few days after she was warded. The baby has been handed over to her father, a labourer in his late 20s.
This is the first death in Sarawak due to A(H1N1). We (the Sarawak government) have increased the alert level throughout the whole state now.
Nobody can take this disease lightly anymore, Dr Chan said.
The Miri Hospital tightened security and safety by several notches to prevent any spread of the disease.
Its director Dr Uma Devi had issued directives to staff not to allow little children to enter the wards if they are not there for any health-related purposes.
Visitors are not allowed to bring babies or little kids to the wards anymore. Old folk are also discouraged from entering unless they are there for health checks.
Smokers are also barred from coming near the wards.
Dr Uma said the tighter safety measures are needed as those who are weaker have immune systems that can be easily attacked by the H1N1 virus.
The Sarawak woman brings the total number of deaths in Malaysia to seven, the previous being an 11-year-old boy who died in Johor Baru on Sunday.