KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) today recorded 39 new Covid-19 infections and two fresh clusters, as the number of active coronavirus cases climbed to 212 from 179 yesterday.
Of the new cases, 11 were imported infections and 28 were local transmissions.
Of the 21 local transmissions among Malaysians, 19 were reported in Sarawak. Seven new cases have been identified in the Sentosa cluster in Kuching, while four new cases were found in the Kuching engineering cluster in the state of Sarawak. Another four cases were detected in a new cluster in the state, the Satok cluster, involving a market in Kuching.
The Mambong and Melbourne Persons Under Investigation (PUI) clusters reported one new case each today. Another case was detected in a screening process at the Kuching International Airport, while one case was detected during a self-screening process in Sarawak.
Sabah recorded two new Covid-19 cases during high-risk patient screening and Kedah reported a case from a new cluster — Sivagangga patient-under-investigation (PUI) cluster.
The local transmissions among six foreigners in the country were reported from the Sentosa cluster (two cases) and the newly identified Sivagangga PUI cluster (four cases) .
Sivagangga PUI Cluster
The index patient (Patient 8,937) of this cluster is a permanent resident who returned to Malaysia from India on July 13. The person underwent a Home Surveillance and Observation Order (HSO) after the person tested negative for Covid-19 screening at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), but was found not to comply with the terms of the order.
He or she detected positive for the coronavirus in repeated screening. Following that, active case detection measures and close contact screening were carried out. As of today, a total of 28 close contacts have been screened. Of these, five tested positive for Covid-19 and 23 tested negative.
The index patient of this cluster is a restaurant owner. Four of the other positive cases in this cluster were foreign employees of the shop and a family member of the index patient. All of these positive cases stayed together with the index patient at the same house. The identified premises have been closed for the cleaning and disinfection process.
This cluster was detected at a market in Satok, Kuching after Covid-19 screening was conducted there. As of today, a total of 229 traders have been screened. Of them, four tested positive for Covid-19, while 225 tested negative.
All of the positive cases in this cluster were asymptomatic. Infection prevention and control activities have been implemented in the market, including cleaning and disinfection process in the related premises and facilities.
The 11 imported cases in the country today involved foreign returnees from Saudi Arabia, Ireland, South Korea, India, Russia, the United States of America, South America, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines.
“Newly detected clusters are like embers. If we do not comply with the SOP, it will turn to fuel. When embers meet fuel, it will cause a big fire. We do not rule out the possibility that the country will face the third wave of Covid-19 if people still do not comply with the SOP,” Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah stated in a Facebook post yesterday.
While Covid-19 cases are on the rise, a huge crowd assembled outside the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex today to extend their support to the former Prime Minister Najib Razak during his SRC International trial that saw him convicted on all seven charges of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering over RM42 million of the company’s funds. He was sentenced to 12 years’ prison and an RM210 million fine.
The mass supporters, reportedly numbering 1,000, gained attention of the authorities who repeatedly reminded the crowd to follow standard operating procedures (SOP) that have been determined by the government.
Pictures of the crowd on social media showed people in close proximity, some not wearing face masks, despite MOH’s repeated reminders on social distancing and wearing face coverings in public. Najib’s supporters reportedly travelled from other states of the country.
Malaysians are also permitted to travel across the country to celebrate the Hari Raya Haji festival this weekend in their hometowns. However, Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced new SOPs to be followed during the celebration.
The new SOPs allow only 20 people in a house at one time, except those who are in quarantine as they are not allowed to receive guests at their premises.
So far, Malaysia has recorded 8,943 Covid-19 cases in the country. Six patients were discharged today, bringing the recovered number of patients to 8,607. Since there is no new death recorded, the Covid-19 death toll in the country remains at 124.