Covid-19: Two new clusters in Malaysia, one from ship in Selangor, another in Kedah hospital

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today announced the emergence of two new Covid-19 clusters in Selangor and Kedah respectively. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today announced the emergence of two new Covid-19 clusters in Selangor and Kedah respectively. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, August 30 — The Health Ministry announced today the emergence of two new Covid-19 clusters in Selangor and Kedah respectively.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the cluster in Selangor involved a ship berthed at Port Klang, while the cluster in Kedah involved medical staff from Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah in Alor Setar.

Dubbed the MV Glen cluster in Selangor, Dr Noor Hisham said the index case — a non-Malaysian ship crew — tested positive for Covid-19 on August 25 and was subsequently admitted to Hospital Sungai Buloh for treatment.

“Covid-19 screenings were conducted and up till August 30, eight people have been screened. From this amount, two have tested positive while six tested negative.

“The index case for this cluster is an imported case involving a foreigner while the second case involves a Malaysian who is an agent appointed by the shipping company,” he said in a statement.

He added that the ship has been disinfected while the source of infection for the MV Glen cluster is under investigation.

Dr Noor Hisham said the sign-on and sign-off health screenings were important as they were a form of international border control used to curb the influx of individuals with the potential to infect into the country, adding that such measures must be further improved.

In Kedah, Dr Noor Hisham said the newly identified Telaga cluster was first detected at Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah.

The index patient was asymptomatic. The other infections involved close contacts of the index case who was previously admitted to the hospital for treatment on August 24.

Dr Noor Hisham said the two Telaga cluster cases were medical staff at the hospital, but were not assigned to the care of Covid-19 patients.

“As of August 30, 374 people have been screened involving family members, hospital staff and others. From this figure, two have tested positive and 372 tested negative,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said more focused screening at hospitals will be conducted as a precautionary measure, adding that services at the aforementioned hospital remained uninterrupted.

As for the source of infection, Dr Noor Hisham said it was still under investigation, but suspected that it could have originated from the community.

Malaysia earlier recorded 17 new cases — 15 imported and two locally transmitted — with one fatality, raising the cumulative positive cases to 9,334 and overall death from Covid-19 to 126 so far.

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