KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Just a day before his trial in court resumes tomorrow, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today said he had tested negative after undergoing a rapid test for the detection of antibodies to the Covid-19 virus.
In a brief Facebook post, Zahid said that he is now under quarantine at his home.
“This morning, I was visited again by 2 KKM officers in an unscheduled visit. The rapid test kit antibody D13 test was done. Alhamdulillah. The result is negative. #kitajagakita,” he wrote on his official Facebook page.
Attached together with the Facebook post were photos of Zahid together with two Health Ministry officers decked out in full personal protective equipment (PPE).
In his Facebook post, Zahid did not say why he was under home quarantine or why the Health Ministry had carried out a test for Covid-19 on him, but a September 20 Facebook post by Barisan Nasional’s Pitas candidate Sufian Abd Karim had shown the duo campaigning together for the Sabah state elections.
On his Facebook page, Sufian had on September 24 said he was undergoing home quarantine while awaiting Covid-19 test results, and yesterday morning announced that the test results which he had just received showed that he tested positive for Covid-19. A Facebook post by Zahid yesterday indicated that he himself was already on home quarantine yesterday.
Previous Facebook posts by Sufian had shown him to have campaigned in Sabah with other individuals such as Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Abd Rahim Bakri, Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, former Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and Sabah Umno chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin.
Zahid also did not say in his Facebook post today whether he has taken or will be undergoing further tests for Covid-19 such as the RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) test, which is considered to produce more accurate results but with results that take a longer time to be made available.
Zahid’s trial in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur is scheduled to resume tomorrow morning, but it is unclear if his trial will go on as scheduled.
In this trial, Zahid ― who is also a former deputy prime minister and former home minister ― is facing 47 charges, namely 12 counts of criminal breach of trust in relation to charitable foundation Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, 27 counts of money-laundering, and eight counts of bribery charges.
Last week, the afternoon session of Zahid’s Monday trial as well as the pre-scheduled trial date on Tuesday had to be called off, due to the need to wait for the results of his Covid-19 test. Zahid was campaigning in Sabah in the days prior to his Monday trial.
Zahid had last Monday noon taken two Covid-19 tests at a private hospital with the first test via the antigen rapid test kit returning negative results within hours, while the results of his second test via the RT-PCR test would have only been available on Tuesday evening, one of his lawyers had told the court then.
On Wednesday, Zahid’s lead defence lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik confirmed that his client’s RT-PCR test results had returned negative.
The court had previously already fixed tomorrow (September 28) as the next trial dates after last Monday (September 21) and last Tuesday (September 22).
Just shortly before Zahid went for his Covid-19 tests last Monday, Umno supreme council member Datuk Mohd Razlan Muhammad Rafii was reported as having tested positive for Covid-19 via a rapid test kit while campaigning in Sipitang, Sabah for the upcoming Sabah elections, and said to be awaiting for further results via a RT-PCR test.
On September 23, Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan announced that he had tested positive for Covid-19 while campaigning in Sabah, with posts on his Twitter account indicating that he had been campaigning in locations such as Sipitang.