Tawar Cluster Sees Five New Covid-19 Cases Among School Students

The Tawar cluster has recorded 70 cases (59 in Kedah and 11 in Penang) so far, making it one of the biggest clusters to hit Malaysia recently.

KUALA LUMPUR, August 25 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported five new cases in Kedah in the Tawar cluster today, bringing the total cases in this cluster to 70 so far.

These five new cases involved students of a primary school in Kedah. They have been identified through active case detection and close contact screening of the positive cases in the cluster.

According to investigation results, the children were in close contact with Patient 9197, who was a preschool student. The case was reported on August 16.

As of today, a total of 3,547 people have been screened in this cluster. Out of 3,018 people who were screened in Kedah, 59 were found to have been infected by the coronavirus.

A total of 2,717 were tested negative for the virus while 242 people are still waiting for the test results.

In Penang, out of the 518 people who were screened, 11 turned out to be positive. A total of 507 people tested negative.

In Perak, all of the 11 individuals who underwent Covid-19 screening tested negative.

The Tawar cluster, whose source of infection is unknown, has recorded three generations of spread so far, meaning a person infecting another, who then infects someone else.

The Tawar cluster’s index case (Patient 9,113), a 53-year-old man, had attended the funeral of a family member that saw 30 people in attendance. However, it is not known how he got infected. (An index case does not necessarily mean that she or he infected everyone else in the cluster; simply that they were the first infected person to be identified).

Another two cases have been identified in Kedah — through a pre-surgery screening, and a person with Covid-19 symptoms who also tested positive during a screening. No new cases were reported today in Penang out of 11 coronavirus cases detected nationwide, comprising nine local transmissions and two imported cases.

Of the nine local transmissions, a positive case in Selangor was identified through targeted approach. Another Covid-19 patient in Perlis was identified through a severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) screening.

The imported cases in Selangor involved returnees from the Philippines and Indonesia.

“When we compare the situation in some foreign countries, there are countries that are now facing the threat of a new wave of Covid-19 transmission. The same thing can happen in Malaysia if we are complacent and underestimate the situation in Malaysia,” Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a press conference.

“Border control needs to be further enhanced with the cooperation of various agencies to curb the influx of potentially Covid-19 infected individuals in the country.”

Six Covid-19 patients were discharged today, bringing the total number of recovered Covid-19 patients to 8,971. A total of 189 patients are still receiving treatment in hospitals. Eight of them are in the intensive care unit, with six of them under ventilator support.

No new deaths were recorded today. Hence, deaths related to Covid-19 remain the same at 125.

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