Half Of Health Care Workers With Covid-19 Got Infected By Co-Workers: MOH

The Sungai cluster that was initially detected at a private hospital in Kedah recorded 13 new Covid-19 cases today.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — The Sungai cluster that originated from a private hospital in Alor Setar reported 13 new Covid-19 cases today, totalling 39 cases so far across Kedah and Perlis.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) revealed that 53 per cent of overall health care workers nationwide with coronavirus had been infected by their colleagues, who are other health care workers.

Health care workers who were infected from the outside community comprised 22 per cent, while 17 per cent of them contracted coronavirus while attending to patients of unknown Covid-19 status.

“So far, no MOH staff have been infected with Covid-19 during patient management of confirmed Covid-19 patients in the Covid-19 ward or in the intensive care unit (ICU),” Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement today.

MOH reminded health care workers to ensure that they take necessary preventive measures at all times, especially while on duty, like physical distancing, use of three-ply surgical masks, hand hygiene, and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).

In a press conference yesterday, Dr Noor Hisham said that the Sungai cluster could have possibly started with an asymptomatic Covid-19 patient who infected a health care worker, the index case.

Kedah Medical Centre (KMC), operated by KPJ Healthcare Berhad, said in a statement yesterday that it would close its inpatient and outpatient services from today till September 11 for sanitisation, after 18 KMC staff and seven of their family members tested positive for Covid-19 as of September 8.

All 619 KMC employees in the Alor Setar hospital have been screened. KMC also said it would offer antigen and PCR tests to 44 inpatients.

The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) said in a statement today that it has received reports of health care workers not fully adhering to infection control guidelines when seeing their patients.

As of today, a total of 1,091 individuals have been screened from the Sungai cluster across Kedah, Penang, and Perlis. Positive Covid-19 cases have been detected in Kedah (38 cases) and Perlis (one case), according to MOH.

A total of 433 individuals in Kedah and Penang have tested negative, while 619 individuals across Kedah, Penang, and Perlis are still waiting for their test results.

MOH reported 24 new Covid-19 cases today: 18 locally transmitted, involving 16 Malaysians and two foreigners.

Besides the Sungai cluster, three other cases were reported in Kedah — one case from the Tawar cluster, one case from the Telaga cluster, and one case from a symptomatic screening in Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar, Kedah.

A total of 4,584 individuals have been screened across Kedah and Penang from the Telaga cluster, out of which 11 individuals have tested positive (all in Kedah), 4,445 tested negative, while 128 individuals are still waiting for their results.

MOH also reported that a total of 18,233 individuals have been screened from the Tawar cluster, whereby 79 individuals have been detected positive and 18,154 individuals tested negative.

The Benteng LD cluster recorded two new Covid-19 cases today. A total of 2,349 individuals have been screened in Tawau and Lahad Datu, out of which 130 individuals have tested positive, 917 individuals tested negative, while 1,307 individuals are still waiting for their results.

MOH reported six imported cases today, comprising three Malaysians and three foreigners who returned from Bangladesh (one case in Negri Sembilan and one case in Kuala Lumpur), China (once case in Sabah), Indonesia (one case in Sabah), Singapore (one case in Sarawak), and South Korea (one case in Selangor).

Currently, there are 312 active Covid-19 cases, including seven of them being treated in ICU, while four of them are on ventilator support.

Seven patients have been discharged today, bringing the cumulative number of patients recovered from Covid-19 to 9,143.

No new deaths were reported today, hence the death toll from Covid-19 remains at 128.

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