MOH Reports 270 Covid-19 Cases At Immigration Detention Depot

Almost 40% of the screened detainees at the Bukit Jalil immigration detention centre have tested positive for Covid-19.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) recorded 277 new Covid-19 cases today, of which 270 cases involved foreigners in the Bukit Jalil immigration detention centre.

Of the new reported cases, 275 cases were from local transmission and two were imported cases. Four Malaysians in the country and two Malaysians outside the country have contracted Covid-19, according to Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He also stated that the new positive cases were identified from repetitive sample screening involving the quarantined detainees at the Bukit Jalil immigration detention centre.

Bulit Jalil was the first Covid-19 cluster that was identified among other immigration detention centres in Malaysia. Out of 1,545 samples screened, 39.9 per cent of foreign detainees there have tested positive for the virus. A total of 608 people there have contracted the virus.

The Health DG stated that detainees who tested negative during the incubation period may have infected the rest of the inmates in the detention centres.

He also mentioned that cramped cells and congested areas there too might have caused an increase in the cases.

“So, we believe that perhaps during the screening, incubation period is negative, and then when we place them in the detention centre, then when they become positive they start to infect other inmates or other detainees (OKT), so that is one possibility,” Dr Noor Hisham told.

“The issue also we have to look into the cramped cells in detention centres as well. So that is also one factor whereby if one case is positive, then definitely it will amplify the infection in a small confined space. So it’s part of our activity to look into the cause of infection.

“But at the moment we can only say that it may be related to a confined space and also congested, crowded area,” he added.

He also emphasised that the undocumented immigrants should be returned to their country the soonest possible when they test negative.

“But this actually illegal immigrants (PATI). PATI then we have to look into deportation as soon as possible. The moment they are negative, we deport them as soon as possible,” he said.

Besides that, MOH had also identified new Covid-19 clusters in the Semenyih immigration detention centre on May 23, followed by the Sepang immigration detention centre the next day.

So far, 1785 samples have been taken for Covid-19 screening in Semenyih immigration detention centre, and 1,477 samples in Sepang immigration detention centre.

A total of 66 and 60 positive cases were reported respectively from Semenyih and Sepang immigration detention centres.

Recently, on May 30, MOH identified another Covid-19 cluster in the Putrajaya temporary immigration detention centre with two positive cases until today.

The total number Covid-19 cases in the country have reached 8,247, MOH reported today. No Covid-19 deaths were reported today, keeping the death toll at 115.

Dr Noor Hisham said 28 patients have recovered today, with a total of 6,559 patients discharged so far.

This brings the total active patients who are still receiving treatment in hospitals to 1,573, of whom six are in the intensive care unit and two under ventilator support.

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