KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 — Migrant workers in detention centres here are actively screened for Covid-19 before they are deported, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said today.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah told a press conference that MOH has received a report that there is one positive Covid-19 case related to deported Myanmar nationals.
“We look into the cases in the centres that we have, we have 1,400 at (immigration detention centre) in Kuala Lumpur.
“Before the MCO (Movement Control Order) started, we had 436 in Block A and they were being isolated before March 18, 2020. They were the ones that were deported because testing was not done for this group, but 1,000 of them in another block have (since) been screened and tested.
“Now we know that out of these 436, one has been tested positive when we deport(ed) them back to their country, so now we are trying our best to screen the 436 before the MCO.
“These are the pre-MCO cases, which we did not screen everyone there. The initiative now, since there is one positive case, we will screen the 436,” explained Dr Noor Hisham.
He further added that the MOH is actively carrying out visitation services to these immigration detention centres to ensure that the migrants currently detained would undergo Covid-19 screening before deportation.
“Total we have more than 1,436 detainees in the centre. Those after the MCO, 1,000 of them, we have done the screening. Only the pre-MCO, the 436 we did not screen.
“Our team has visiting services to the detention centre and we also provide some services to the detainees. So, now the screening is ongoing,” said Dr Noor Hisham.
Myanmar has recorded six new Covid-19 cases since Saturday, May 16. Five of these new cases were deportees who arrived from Malaysia. The Myanmar embassy in Kuala Lumpur labour attache, U Aung Zaw Min, reportedly said that these people were stranded in immigration detention centres across Malaysia for months prior to being deported, as cited by Malaysiakini.
MOH today reported 37 new Covid-19 cases. Two cases were imported, which means that 35 were local transmissions, including 22 foreigners. The total cases of Covid-19 in Malaysia as of today is 6,978. One death was reported today; the Covid-19 death toll in the country as of today is 114.