Come Forward, DG Tells MOH Health Workers From Tabligh Event, Weddings

MOH frontliners and health care workers who attended or had contact with people who joined the Sri Petaling tabligh gathering, a March 6 wedding in Bangi, or a March 7 wedding in Putrajaya, should inform their heads of department.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) today urged government health workers to inform their superiors if they were connected to a tabligh event or two weddings earlier this month.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said MOH frontliners and health care workers should inform their heads of department if they had attended or had contact with people who joined the tabligh gathering at Sri Petaling mosque here from February 27 to March 3, a wedding last March 6 in Bangi, or a wedding last March 7 in Putrajaya.

As of noon today, 73 MOH health care workers have been infected with coronavirus, but Dr Noor Hisham said none of them had contracted the virus from handling Covid-19 patients in MOH facilities.

These infected health care workers came from Teluk Intan Hospital in Perak, involving 37 staff, with the rest at Putrajaya Hospital, Raja Perempuan Zainab Hospital in Kelantan, Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang, and Selayang Hospital in Selangor.

About 64 per cent of those cases involving health care workers, or 47 patients, were related to weddings that had been attended by those who joined the tabligh event. The sources of infection for the remaining 26 MOH staff were from overseas travel or from close contact with infected family members.

To date, 1,895 MOH health care workers who handle Covid-19 patients in MOH facilities have been tested for coronavirus, of which 1,187 tested negative, while 708 are awaiting test results. None have tested positive, according to the Health DG.

“All health care workers and frontliners are advised to practice preventive measures, like ensuring your hands are always clean, social distancing, and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) according to need,” Dr Noor Hisham said today in a statement.

Four new Covid-19 deaths were reported today, totalling 19 fatalities in Malaysia.

The 18th victim (Patient 1,625) was a 56-year-old Malaysian man who had a history of chronic disease. He was treated in Sultan Ismail Hospital in Johor on March 20, before dying on March 23.

The 19th fatality (Patient 1,246) was a 68-year-old Malaysian woman, who was treated in Sultanah Nora Ismail Hospital in Johor on March 19. She died early this morning.

Dr Noor Hisham also said a ward at Teluk Intan Hospital will be reopened after it has been cleaned and disinfected, following 37 coronavirus infections there involving health care workers.

“We hope we can coordinate and send doctors and nurses from other places to Teluk Intan Hospital.”

Update at 9.05pm:

MOH clarified that Teluk Intan Hospital is still operating as usual, although its Emergency Department and observational ward at that department were closed today for cleaning and disinfection. The Emergency Department is temporarily operating at the building of the outpatient unit.

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