Two new clusters, 16 new Covid-19 cases

MoH has shortened visiting hours at hospitals and limited the number of visitors as implemented during the initial MCO period


TWO new Covid-19 clusters were identified yesterday, namely the Hyde Park cluster and the PUI (person under investigation) Melbourne cluster.

The index case for the Hyde Park cluster involved a foreigner who was part of a ship’s crew, which also had a history of travelling to Egypt and India.

The cluster was identified after the ship’s crew underwent Covid-19 screening tests before returning to their home country.

As of noon yesterday, 24 individuals had been screened with four of them tested positive for Covid-19, while the rest are negative.

Health DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah assured that the cluster does not carry the risk of infection into the community as it is an isolated cluster on a ship.

Meanwhile, the PUI Melbourne cluster involves a Malaysian student, the 8,749th case who returned from Australia on July 15.

The student boarded two flights, from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur (KL) and then from KL to Kuching, Sarawak.

“When he arrived in Kuching, he was taken to the quarantine centre after his Covid-19 screening was found to be positive on July 17,” Dr Noor Hisham said, adding that as of noon yesterday, there were two positive cases in the cluster.

He said the second case had also boarded the same flight as the index case, which departed from KL to Kuching.

“A total of 21 close contacts consisting of passengers of the aircraft and related public vehicles have been screened and we are still waiting for their results.

“The cause of infection for this cluster is still under investigation,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

As of yesterday, the country recorded 16 new Covid-19 cases involving eight local transmissions and eight import cases.

This development has brought the country’s overall total to 8,831 cases, with 142 active cases being treated at health facilities nationwide.

Among the active cases yesterday, five have been placed in the intensive care unit, with one case under ventilator support.

Four patients were discharged yesterday, increasing the total of recovered cases in the country to 8,566, which equals to 96.9%.

No new deaths were recorded yesterday, as the country’s death tally remains at 123.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health (MoH) had shortened visiting hours at hospitals and limited the number of visitors as implemented during the initial Movement Control Order (MCO) period.

Visitors are only allowed to enter the ward for emergency and critical cases or for situations in need, while the visiting hours are shortened according to the hospital’s regulations.

Dr Noor Hisham said for clinic appointments, only one companion will be allowed, except for paediatric patients, patients in need of assistance or emergency cases.

“This policy is necessary to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission in hospitals, as well as to continuously break the chain of the coronavirus infection,” he said in his Covid-19 statement yesterday.

He added that it is also important for the ministry to protect patients and health workers from being infected with the Covid-19 virus, as well as reduce hospital congestion and allow the practice of social distancing.

“Revisions to these guidelines will be made from time to time, and any changes are subject to the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country,” he said.