KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) today reported daily new Covid-19 cases below 50 for the ninth consecutive day since May 12, with 31 new cases today.
Malaysia’s total confirmed coronavirus cases has hit 7,009 as of today. Ten of the cases reported today were imported, which means that 21 cases were local transmission.
Of the 21 local transmissions, ten of them were foreigners. No death was reported today, and the country’s Covid-19 death toll remains at 114.
In light of the upcoming Hari Raya celebration, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah advised the public to ensure that Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) set by the MOH are followed during this festive season, especially since home visitations are allowed on the first day of the celebration.
“Although the government has allowed home visitation on the first day of the Raya celebration, MOH’s advice is to follow SOP, and that includes safe social distancing, proper hand washing, avoid physical contact such as shaking hands, as those are the ways to avoid infection,” said Dr Noor Hisham at a press conference today.
“This is because, if (someone) is positive and they come to our home and shake our hands, that may cause us to catch the infection. Therefore, if we can, we should avoid shaking hands, maintain safe social distance, and follow proper hand washing.
“If possible, avoid crowding, such as having many people in confined spaces, and as we chat, we must make sure there is safe social distancing.
“However, it is best if we can avoid visitation all together, If we can. Avoid visiting hometowns, especially those wanting to travel from red zones to green zones,” he explained.
Myanmar authorities reported yesterday that as many as eight deportees from Malaysia have tested positive for Covid-19, as cited by The Asahi Shimbun. Dr Noor Hisham was asked to comment on the situation of migrants in detention centres in light of these reports.
“Basically, we all know that the high-risk group is mainly in prison and detention centre. Perhaps one of the reasons is the crowded space in the detention centre.
“The group that we identified that, if I’m not mistaken, is 463 that we identified before MCO (Movement Control Order). After the MCO, we have more than 1,000 detainees and we have done the screening. So, they have been deported,” he said.
“Now, we have been informed that there is one positive case that was detected among the detainees before the pre-MCO. So, what we are doing is we are doing the screening for those who were in close contact with the positive case. In total, we have 463 in that particular block. We identified that block and basically to do all the screening, and also to investigate the source of infection.
“We need a few days for us to identify the source of infection,” he added.
In addition to that, the Health director-general was also asked to comment on the screening for coronavirus in students returning from Peninsula to Sabah and Sarawak, in which he explained that it is a requirement from Sabah and Sarawak state governments that students be screened for Covid-19 before their return.
“It is part of our requirement to screen students to go back to Sabah and Sarawak. This is the requirement from Sabah and Sarawak.
“So, we did the screening and from our screening of 271 students, one case was detected as positive. Once we have detected positive, we isolate the student and now we are investigating in terms of the active case detection of the close contacts. Now, we have identified nine of them,” said Dr Noor Hisham.
He further explained that the source of the student’s infection is still currently under investigation and the MOH will need time to carry out the investigation before an announcement about the situation can be made.