Health DG: Be truthful, don’t hide health details

by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by BERNAMA

HEALTH DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has urged the public to be truthful in giving their history and close contacts as this is the responsibility to curb the spread of this pandemic in the country.

According to him, the spread of the Sivagangga cluster, which involved a restaurant in Kedah, began when the owner did not use the MySejahtera application or physically record the details and body temperature of customers who visited the premise.

“This challenges the ministry, as well as the staff at the District Health Office and the State Health Department in fully carrying out close contact tracking activities.

“Taking lessons from this case, the Health Ministry would like to remind the public to come forward and not hide any important information such as contact with positive Covid-19 cases or relevant information from the authorities,” he said in his Covid-19 press conference yesterday.

He also added that as of noon yesterday, a total of 425 people had been screened from the Sivagangga cluster.

“Of these, 21 cases tested positive for Covid-19, 362 tested negative and 42 are still waiting for the results,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham also noted that the Sivagangga cluster is a domestic contagion cluster caused by an import case who did not comply with the Home Surveillance Order (HSO).

He urged those who visited the restaurant or have close contact with those who are positive from the cluster to undergo an immediate Covid-19 screening test.

Apart from this cluster, there are also other active clusters that are found to be due to import cases that do not comply with the HSO which was implemented from June 10 to July 23.

“The clusters include Elsa cluster, Novgorod cluster, Pitakwa cluster, Melbourne cluster, Ramnad cluster, Al Khobar cluster and Shirala cluster,” said the DG.

As of yesterday, the country recorded two new Covid-19 positive cases, both involving local transmissions.

Dr Noor Hisham said of the two local cases, one was detected from the Sivagangga cluster in Kedah, and the other was from an asymptomatic college student who was screened in Labuan.

The increase in new cases yesterday has brought the country’s overall total to 9,001.

There are now 208 active Covid-19 cases that are being treated at health facilities nationwide.

Among the active cases yesterday, one was placed in the intensive care unit, with none of them requiring respiratory aid.

Whereas, four patients have been discharged yesterday, increasing the total recovered cases in the country to 8,668 or 96.3%.

No new deaths have been recorded as the country’s death tally remains at 125.

Separately, Dr Noor Hisham also said the infrared thermometer used to measure body temperature does not emit radiation and is safe to use by the public.

He added that the ministry views seriously the claims from the usage of infrared thermometer for temperature checks could cause brain damage, as being spread on social media.

“The device is designed to detect and absorb infrared radiation signals from the surface of the skin, which is then converted into electrical signals,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He noted that the electronic circuit in the thermometer processes the electrical signal to determine the human body temperature and it is then displayed on the screen.