More than 24,000 foreigners screened for COVID-19: Health DG


A TOTAL of 24,125 foreigners in Malaysia have been screened for COVID-19 so far, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (picture)

He said of this number, 1,132 were found to be COVID-19 positive, 487 are still receiving treatment including three in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), four have died and 641 have recovered.

He said the screening of foreigners would continue and hoped that COVID-19 tests could be conducted at Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) areas regardless of whether the people there were locals or immigrants.

“We will screen and test all in these (EMCO) areas. We will also identify target groups for screening and testing especially those involving clusters, apart from conducting acute case detection through trace and track.

Elaborating on the Pedas cluster, Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry (MOH) was implementing tracing of close contacts by testing and isolating those found to be positive.

“Those found negative of COVID-19 were quarantined. So far, 768 close contacts in the Pedas cluster have been identified and tested. The number of positive cases is 131,” he said.

Preventive measures, sanitisation and disinfection operations were still being conducted at the factory to curb the spread of the coronavirus, he said.

On developments at the construction site cluster in Setia Alam, Dr Noor Hisham said so far only 12 positive cases had been detected and MOH was still actively conducting tracing of close contacts linked to the cluster.

“There were no new cases for the Setia Alam cluster today. MOH feels that the situation is under control and there is no need to enforce EMCO in the area,” he added.

He said MOH was targeting to reduce the number of new COVID-19 cases to single digits in two weeks’ time.

“So far we can see that the (positive) cases are under control although there are new clusters.

“Every day we will monitor the latest developments on new cases and also the people’s compliance with the set standard operating procedure (SOP). If the people’s level of compliance is high, we can control and reduce the cases detected,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham also welcomed the extension of the Conditional Movement Control Order as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, saying the move would give space to the government to further contain the spread of COVID-19 and balance the opening up of economic sectors in a cautious manner.