KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — Calls have been made for politicians to isolate themselves from the public, following reports a former minister and deputy minister were in close contact with a coronavirus patient.
Malaysiakini reported that a Khazanah Nasional Berhad employee with Covid-19, said to be a senior member of the sovereign wealth fund’s leadership, attended a recent ministry function, following the fall of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government last week.
The Khanazah staff in question is believed to be the 26th case of the novel coronavirus, according to media reports. The patient is a 52-year-old Malaysian man with a history of traveling to Shanghai, China, and is currently in isolation at Sungai Buloh Hospital.
According to pictures of the Thursday event at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, the Khazanah member was seen standing near the former minister and former deputy minister. Both were PH politicians, but one is now with the newly minted Perikatan Nasional.
Malaysiakini reported that at least one of the two politicians is under self-quarantine and will get screened soon.
Concerns have been raised that fellow MPs could be infected after a series of political meetings by both sides of the political divide following Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s shock resignation as prime minister last Monday.
However, both politicians have not come out to say that they have Covid-19 as of press time. Neither has the Ministry of Health (MOH) responded to clarification and comments.
While Covid-19 has an average incubation period of two to 14 days, it could be as long as 27 days.
Subang MP Wong Chen said, nevertheless, extra precautions have to be taken, and said he is self-quarantining himself today and tomorrow until the test results of the former minister and ex-deputy minister are known.
“Please do not panic,” the PKR lawmaker tweeted today. “The main aim is to be knowledgeable and help contain the spread.
“Those who have come in contact with a Covid 19 victim, should practice a bit of self quarantine discipline, and if sickly, to contact the hospital for tests,” he said, adding that he is in good health and will be working from home.
Sarawak Report, meanwhile, claimed that the former minister in question is one of the closest allies of newly appointed Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, and urged all those who were in contact with the former minister to undergo self-isolation.
“The list of politicians who must now self-isolate clearly includes Muhyiddin and all his band of breakaway Bersatu MPs. These have been extremely closely hugging and kissing with the likes of ex-PKR collaborator Azmin Ali in the past few hours, according to recorded celebrations available on the internet, meaning all these folk also must self-isolate.
“Unfortunately, this also appears to include the Agong who swore Muhyiddin into office on Sunday morning in the presence of a bevvy of these potentially infected persons,” the news portal added.
“Yet, apart from the Amanah MP who has now self-isolated there has been no evidence that these characters have taken themselves out of circulation, let alone confessed their status as potential carriers of the infection.”
Sarawak Report also said that PAS president Hadi Awang and Muhyiddin are particularly vulnerable to the danger of infection from Covid-19, noting that the former has long-term heart conditions, while Muhyiddin is in remission from cancer.
Free Malaysia Today today claimed that UDA Holdings chairman Hisham Hamdan has tested positive for Covid-19, but stopped short of linking the Khazanah member who tested positive for the coronavirus to Hisham. Khazanah has a staff member on the UDA board.