Father Gets Covid-19 After Picking Up Returnee Who Tested Negative At Airport

A new cluster in Melaka has emerged involving a Malaysian who returned from Russia.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — A Malaysian contracted Covid-19 after picking his infected child up from the airport who tested negative for coronavirus upon arrival, but later tested positive following symptoms, health authorities said today.

Patient 8,724 was among seven new Covid-19 cases announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) today, including six imported infections.

Today’s local transmission involving Patient 8,724 came from a new cluster in Melaka, dubbed the Novgorod cluster in reference to a city in Russia, who was the third case in the cluster and a close contact of the cluster’s second case (Patient 8,718).

The first case from the cluster, Patient 8,673, returned to Malaysia from Russia on July 5 and tested positive for the coronavirus at the airport. The second case from the cluster, Patient 8,718, was a friend of Patient 8,673, both of whom took the same flight on July 5.

Patient 8,718 tested negative for Covid-19 at the airport, but later experienced fever and respiratory symptoms on July 7. A repeat test yielded a positive result for coronavirus. The patient’s gender and age were not revealed.

Patient 8,718’s negative test result at the airport marks the seventh reported case of false negative results from the antigen rapid test kits (RTK) deployed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and klia2.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah previously told CodeBlue that MOH was reviewing the use of antigen RTK following reports of inaccuracy.

As of today, three positive cases and 14 close contacts have been identified in this cluster, said Dr Noor Hisham.

“As per above, Covid-19 was transmitted to a family member of the patient that got infected overseas (Patient 8,718),” he said in a statement.

Patient 8,724, the father of Patient 8,718, tested positive for Covid-19 after getting a fever, when he and three other family members picked Patient 8,718 up from the airport on July 6 in their own vehicle.

“Family members of those returning to Malaysia are reminded to minimise the number of individuals picking them up at the international arrival gate. Avoid touching, and wear a face mask throughout the journey,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

He reminded individuals placed under home quarantine to ensure safe distancing from their family members at home and to wear a face mask when leaving the home for certain purposes, like going to the clinic.

One patient was discharged today, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 8,520. A total of 83 patients are still receiving treatment in hospitals. That denotes 0.95 per cent from the total number of 8,725 Covid-19 infections in the country. Malaysia still has 83 active Covid-19 cases.

Four patients have been placed in the intensive care unit and among them, three patients are under ventilator support.

No casualties due to Covid-19 were recorded today in the country. That brings the total number of deaths from coronavirus to 122.

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