KUALA LUMPUR, August 7 — The Sivagangga PUI cluster in Kedah has crossed state borders, ratcheting up 10 new Covid-19 cases in Perlis and one new infection in Penang.
According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), the cluster sparked by a male restaurant owner in Kubang Pasu — who broke home quarantine rules after returning from Sivagangga, India — now has three generations of spread, meaning one person infecting another, who then infected someone else.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said yesterday that the Sivagangga cluster may involve a super-spreader coronavirus strain from Egypt, as that cluster has a faster rate of transmission compared to nine other clusters recorded in other states.
Twelve, all Malaysians, of 25 new Covid-19 cases reported today belonged to the Sivagangga cluster. According to MOH, today’s record of 25 cases was the highest in nine days. Besides the 10 new cases in Perlis and one in Penang, the 12th case was located in Kedah.
Nine of the 25 new coronavirus cases were imported, while the remaining 16 were locally transmitted in the community. Two Covid-19 cases were detected in Perak from influenza-like illness screening at a sentinel clinic, while one was found in Kuala Lumpur from screening of symptomatic cases. The Perak and Kuala Lumpur cases were Malaysian.
One new local transmission involved a foreign detainee, who was an undocumented migrant, in Johor.
MOH reported 43 Covid-19 cases in the Sivagangga cluster as of today, comprising 31 in Kedah, 11 in Perlis, and one in Penang.
The 10 new cases that were reported in Perlis today and Patient 9,002 that was reported in Perlis on August 4 are from the same family.
Today’s new case from Kedah (Patient 9,053) was in close contact with Patient 9,035, her husband, who was reported on August 6.
Today’s new case in Penang (Patient 9,052) was screened on July 30 as she or he returned to her or his hometown, which is under the Targeted Enhanced Movement Control Order (TEMCO) area.
As of today, a total of 3,246 people have been screened under the Sivagangga cluster. Of these, 43 cases were detected with coronavirus and 2,320 tested negative. The balance 883 people are still waiting for their results.
Following today’s new cases, an additional 1,884 close contacts have been identified and will be tested in Perlis and Penang.
The nine imported cases reported today returned home from the Philippines (four), United Arab Emirates (one), Turkey (one), Djibouti East Africa (one), Australia (one), and Yemen (one).
So far, Malaysia has recorded 9,063 Covid-19 cases, with 210 active cases who are still receiving treatment. Two cases are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), including one on a ventilator.
No new death was recorded today and the total Covid-19 death toll stays at 125.