Covid-19: MoH to screen foreigners at two detention depots

HEALTH director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Ministry of Health is testing foreigners at the Semenyih and Bukit Jalil immigration detention depots to weed out Covid-19 clusters after one such was detected at the Bukit Jalil centre.

The 114 staff at the Bukit Jalil depot have also been screened, with all of them testing negative. Of the 1,400 detainees, 60 positive cases were found, more than half of them in a single block where the detainees were already held before the Movement Control Order (MCO) began on March 18.

Nationwide, as of noon today, 63 new recoveries were reported, bringing the total number of discharged patients to 5,859. 78 new cases were also confirmed, of which 25 were imported cases, and 40 involved foreign nationals. Of these 40, 25 are from the Bukit Jalil detention depot. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 7,137.

There remain 1,163 active transmission cases, with nine being treated in intensive care units. Of those nine, five require ventilator support. Another death was also reported, bringing the death toll to 115.

Dr Noor Hisham once again called on the people not to head back to their hometowns during the festive season, noting that data has shown that, in the two weeks following a celebration, there is usually a spike in the number of cases.

“So now we hope to prevent or minimise that increase in the number of cases, and it is the shared responsibility of Malaysians to reduce or avoid visiting, and to observe the guidelines of safe social distancing, avoiding gatherings, and frequently washing hands with soap and water,” he said.

“From the modelling and the data we have, should Malaysians adhere to the guidelines, it may be possible to reduce the number to single digits daily, but if the guidelines are ignored, the number will increase sharply,” he added.

Dr Noor Hisham also took the opportunity to remind Malaysians about the importance of food hygiene, noting that, historically, the festive season usually sees an increase in the number of food poisoning incidents. – May 22, 2020

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