KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — A Covid-19 cluster — whose index case travelled to Bali, Indonesia — has infected 10 health care staff at a medical centre in Kuantan, Pahang, health authorities said today.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the index case (Patient 4,684) had close contact with his or her older brother, Patient 1,575, who was admitted to the facility’s severe acute respiratory infection ward on March 19 with fever and respiratory infection.
As of today, there are 43 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the person-under-investigation (PUI) Bali cluster in Kuantan — 30 who are being treated in Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital in Pahang, nine who have recovered, one in the intensive care unit (ICU), and three who succumbed to Covid-19 (Patient 1,575, Patient 5,064, and Patient 4,129).
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has run 2,301 tests for the coronavirus on health staff and patients from the medical centre in Kuantan. Out of the 43 confirmed cases in the cluster, 10 were health staff from the medical facility.
“Covid-19 transmission preventive measures are currently undertaken with close cooperation with MOH, including decontamination and transfer of patients to nearby MOH hospitals. This is to ensure the medical centre is safe and believed to be free from Covid-19 infection,” Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement.
He reminded all public and private health care workers to wear face masks, especially when handling influenza-like illness or severe acute respiratory infection cases. Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) was also recommended when performing any clinical procedure.
MOH today reported 51 new Covid-19 cases, leading to a total of 5,742 cases in the country. Active infectious cases have dropped to 1,882, all of whom are put in hospital. Two new deaths related to Covid-19 were reported, leading to a total of 98 fatalities in the country.
Thirty-six Covid-19 patients are in ICU, including 16 on ventilator support. A total of 99 people have recovered from Covid-19 and been discharged from hospital, leading to a total of 3,762 recoveries in the country.
Over 132,000 People Tested So Far
The Health DG said 132,361 people have been tested for Covid-19 as of yesterday, with 5,742 people (4.3 per cent) testing positive. This positivity rate, he said, was better than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) benchmark of 10 per cent. Based on a 32-million population, Malaysia has done 4,136 tests per million population.
He also said 14,997 tests were done yesterday, as testing capacity has reached about 16,000 daily. With the arrival of 200,000 antigen rapid test kits expected next week, testing capacity may be boosted to 20,000 a day.
When asked if MOH was screening foreign workers, Dr Noor Hisham said, as per MOH’s targeted testing strategy on high-risk groups and localities, health authorities were only testing high-risk foreigners who were linked to the tabligh gathering at Sri Petaling mosque last month that accounts for the largest Covid-19 cluster in the country.
As such, authorities have placed total lockdowns, or Enhanced Movement Control Orders (EMCO), on areas with large migrant worker populations, like Menara City One in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor Mansion and Malayan Mansion flats in Masjid India here, surrounding areas of Masjid India, and the Kuala Lumpur wholesale market area in Selayang. The government today launched a seventh EMCO in areas beyond the wholesale market to Selayang Baru and Gombak.
“That’s the reason why we’re taking action not for all foreigners, because high-risk groups are those with exposure to the Sri Petaling gathering,” said Dr Noor Hisham.
When asked about complaints of crowded mass testing at Menara City One yesterday, he said an announcement for the screening was only made for Tower A, but Tower B residents also came down.
“We actually worked together with police to calm down the situation and we took some time to make sure social distancing complied.”
Photographs shared by the DAP showed long queues at the condominium and crowded lifts.
When asked about seven people who tested positive through random testing in Selangor, the Health DG answered briefly: “So far, we have no update from there”.
The Star reported Thursday Selgate Healthcare, a unit of Selangor State Development Corp (PKNS), as saying that seven people have tested positive for Covid-19 out of 3,408 people tested in community screenings in Hulu Selangor, Puchong, Shah Alam, Klang, Sepang, and Gombak, yielding a 0.2 per cent positivity rate. The seven cases comprised five from Hulu Selangor, and one each from Shah Alam and Klang. Selangor has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the country at 1,388 as of today.
The Opposition state has been carrying out community testing, which Selangor Task Force for Covid-19 chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad has reportedly described as “community testing with a targeted approach”.