by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Malaysia has reached 50, with 14 new cases reported yesterday.
Health Ministry DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the 14 cases were first-and second-generation cases linked to Patient 26, who tested positive on March 1.
On Tuesday, seven cases, also linked to the same Patient 26, were confirmed. It is believed that Patient 26 is a senior member of Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Uda Holdings Bhd, who is currently being quarantined at Sungai Buloh Hospital.
“There was no new case for 11 days before the second wave began on Feb 27, with 28 positive cases reported so far. They are cases No 23 to case No 50,” Dr Noor Hisham said in a media conference in Putrajaya yesterday.
He said Patient 26 had close contacts with up to 215 people, and the Health Department had examined all of them. Of the total, 16 were tested positive, while 19 others were cleared of any infection. Results for another 180 people are still pending.
“Five cases were close contacts to several of the 16 positive cases that had been close contacts to Case 26. Therefore, the number of positive cases in this cluster is 21, also known as Case 30 to Case 50,” he added.
Dr Noor Hisham said from the 16 individuals who tested positive, 15 attended several meetings between Feb 21 and Feb 27 and infected five others, classified as case No 30, 39, 42, 43 and 44 — also known as the second-generation spread.
“We are focusing on this case No 26 for now and will examine all the 215 identified contacts,” he said.
Despite the increase in positive cases, Dr Noor Hisham assured that the situation in the country is still under control.
He said the authority is still able to take all the necessary measures to contain the situation, so it is still safe to conduct public events.
“We can still detect cases at the early stage and contain them,” Dr Noor Hisham added.
He said all of the patients infected in the second wave are Malaysians. To date, 22 patients from the first wave have recovered and have been discharged.
Dr Noor Hisham said currently, it is still unnecessary for employers to close their offices, even if a member of the staff has been infected. He said cleaning and sanitising affected buildings would suffice to prevent the spread of the disease.
Yesterday, Felcra Bhd headquarters in Kuala Lumpur was closed after one of its board members tested positive for Covid-19.
According to a statement by Felcra CEO’s office, the staff have been instructed to leave the building immediately and they are only allowed to report for duty on Monday.
They are also allowed to work from home during the three-day period. Felcra stated that the infected personnel was last seen entering the premises on Feb 25.
“At the same time, the company has also identified other staff that had close contact with the infected person and they have been instructed to undertake the health screening test at a nearby hospital. They are mainly under self-quarantine until we obtain their test results,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd (MIDF) is offering financial relief to assist its existing clients, amid the worsening Covid-19 outbreak which is hampering economic growth globally.
The relief measures include deferment of monthly repayment, rescheduling and restructuring of financing, as well as extension of due date for revolving facilities.
“We hope this will provide partial relief and financial support to companies, especially the small and medium enterprises in badly affected sectors such as manufacturing, hotels, retails, transportation and services, in addition to helping the economy rebound,” MIDF Development Financial Division head Azizi Mustafa said in a statement yesterday.