Malaysia May Be Seeing New Covid-19 Wave: DG Hisham

Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says a few politicians have tested positive for Covid-19 or were in close contact with positive cases.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 — The rising trend of daily Covid-19 cases may indicate the beginning of a new wave in Malaysia, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

“Perhaps, you look into the chart, we have increased cases lately, that probably is a beginning of a new wave, ” Dr Noor Hisham said at a press conference reporting on Malaysia’s daily Covid-19 cases today.

The Health director-general said that a similar situation is seen in other countries which have previously managed to flatten the curve. He said that it could be due to mutation or because winter is nearing.

However, Dr Noor Hisham said that the onus is on Malaysians to flatten the curve, once again.

“We have done it before and we have to do it again but we have the experience now, as compared to in March, but we need the collaboration with each and everyone of us so that we can comply to the standard operating procedure (SOP) and hopefully we can flatten the curve again,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

“If we come together, we make the impossible, possible.”

Malaysia recorded 260 positive coronavirus cases today, the second highest daily tally since Covid-19 broke out here last January. According to the health director-general, most of these cases were mainly reported in Sabah and Kedah. Today out of the 260 cases, 118 cases were reported in Sabah and 98 in Kedah.

Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today that inter-district travel in Sabah will be banned from October 3 till October 13 ,while authorities have placed four districts in the east coast of Sabah — Lahad Datu, Tawau, Kunak, and Semporna — under the administrative Targeted Enhanced Movement Control Order (TEMCO) from September 29 until October 12.

Dr Noor Hisham also said today that a few politicians have been detected with Covid-19. However, he did not disclose any names to maintain patient confidentiality.

“We do have a few politicians being involved in terms of diagnosed positive and those who have close contact with the positive cases, we will have to quarantine them for 14 days,” the Health director-general said.

New Straits Times reported earlier that a Kedah state executive councillor, who was campaigning in Sabah for the recent state election, has tested positive for Covid-19. He was a close contact to an assistant who was also confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus a few days ago.

A Melaka assemblyman also came forward and said that he was detected with Covid-19 after returning from Sabah. He returned from Sabah on Monday and on Tuesday, he called the district health office to find out the results of his test taken at the airport. He was informed that he tested negative.

As he did not have any symptoms, he cut his quarantine band and visited Seri Negeri Complex on Wednesday to attend to some matters. The same evening, he found out that he was detected with Covid-19.

Astro Awani reported that he did not want to blame any party for the mistake, but hoped that information could be properly coordinated to avoid bigger mistakes.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced last Saturday that all individuals returning from the state of Sabah from September 27 till October 10 have to be tested for Covid-19 at the domestic and international gates of airports and will be issued a home quarantine order with wristbands. Those who test negative will then be released from quarantine. RT-PCR test results usually take a few days to come out.

According to Dr Noor Hisham, MOH will also be increasing their testing in the Bangau-bangau cluster as the incidence rate in this cluster is 60 per cent, which means the number of positive cases is still high.

“It’s not one village, its multiple villages as well as the town. So, we will continue to increase our screening in that region. So, we hope that we can contain the infection.”

The Bangau-bangau cluster in Sabah recorded 10 new cases today.

Dr Noor Hisham reminded the public to stay at home unless there are urgent matters outside. Those who have urgent matters outside were urged to follow health SOPs.

Furthermore, Dr Noor Hisham said that those who tested negative upon returning from Sabah and do not have any symptoms should self quarantine for 14 days, even though it is not mandatory.

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