Mercu UEM vacated on Covid-19 concerns

Tenants told to vacate the building yesterday, while business will resume as usual beginning today

by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN, SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH & SHAZNI ONG / pic by ARIF KARTONO

THE tenants of Mercu UEM, the headquarters of Khazanah Nasional Bhd, were evacuated yesterday to make way for sanitisation works following news that the firm’s senior executive was tested positive for Covid-19.

A source familiar with the matter told The Malaysian Reserve the tenants were told to vacate the building yesterday, while business will resume as usual beginning today.

On Sunday, Khazanah stated that one of its employees was among the new patients tested positive for Malaysia’s second wave of the virus outbreak.

It said the employee is currently receiving treatment at a government hospital.

“Khazanah is working closely with health authorities and the management of our office premises in undertaking the necessary measures and precautions to ensure the health and safety of all our employees and those around them.

“This includes supporting the health authorities in identifying individuals who have come into close contact with the affected employee. Khazanah continues to operate with minimal disruptions,” it said in a statement.

According to reports, the employee, referred as Patient No 26 by the Health Ministry (MoH), is Datuk Hisham Hamdan, who is also the chairman of UDA Holdings Bhd.

Yesterday, UDA confirmed that one of its board members was tested positive for Covid-19 and the individual is currently being quarantined in a government hospital.

“Following this, UDA is now taking precautionary measures to identify individuals that had close contact with the affected individual. UDA is also working with MoH on this matter,” it said in a statement.

UDA clarified that there had been no case reported at the hotel where its employee was present along with a former minister, deputy minister and secretary general of a ministry.

“Prevention efforts at UDA will be updated, including at its subsidiary AnCasa Hotel Kuala Lumpur (AHKL) to overcome the spread of the virus.

“The UDA management stresses that no cases were reported at the hotel among its in-house guests, and business is as usual.

“AHKL will take the necessary measures in accordance with the MoH’s standard operating procedure for sanitisation works of the entire hotel area,” it said yesterday. As of March 2, MoH had not reported any new positive case of Covid-19. The 29th case was reported on Sunday.

The ministry said out of the 29 cases, 22 patients have recovered and been discharged from their respective hospitals, while the remaining seven are still receiving treatments at isolated wards of hospitals in the Klang Valley.

Additionally, MoH said it was investigating two “high-profile individuals” suspected of Covid-19 as they were in close contact with an infected person.

The statement did not reveal the identities of the two individuals, but said seven others, including five family members of the confirmed case, had tested negative.

“The ministry is currently investigating (the two high-profile individuals) and appropriate measures will be undertaken,” Health DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement without naming the individuals.

It is learned that these two individuals are MPs.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) has postponed its Mida Annual Media Conference 2020 set for today at Mida Sentral, located beside Mercu UEM — Khazanah’s headquarters.

“Due to the spread of Covid-19, Mida is taking extra precautionary measures to ensure the wellbeing of our personnel and visitors. In this regard, the Mida Annual Media Conference 2020 is postponed to a new date that will be determined later,” it said.

Malaysia has a total of 29 confirmed cases to date, involving 15 Chinese nationals, 11 Malaysians and three others from the US, Japan and Italy. Of these cases, 22 have fully recovered and been discharged.