New isolated cluster detected on ship in Sarawak

The Alam cluster does not carry the risk of transmission in the community as it is an import cluster isolated on a ship


THE Ministry of Health has identified a new isolated Covid-19 cluster called “Alam” in Sarawak involving crew on a ship.

Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said four cases have been detected onboard following a Covid-19 screening carried out on five shipmates who were showing symptoms.

The test result for one of the five is still pending.

Dr Noor Hisham said two of the positive cases involved Malaysians and the other two non-citizens who got infected abroad.

They are currently being treated at the Bintulu Hospital.

The DG said the Alam cluster does not carry the risk of transmission in the community as it is an import cluster isolated on a ship.

He said the ship had a travel history to Japan.

“Active case detection activities and close contact screening are in progress. Preventive and control measures such as disinfection and decontamination processes have been carried out on the ship,” Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement yesterday.

Malaysia recorded five new Covid-19 cases yesterday involving imported cases.

Seven new recoveries were recorded, bringing the total number of patients discharged to 8,932 or 96.7% of total cases.

The number of total positive Covid-19 cases increased to 9,240 with 183 active cases.

The death tally remained at 125 cases or 1.35% of the total number of cases. Seven patients are being treated in the intensive care unit, including four patients requiring respiratory support.

Meanwhile, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said a total of 14,048 individuals returned to Malaysia through international border entrances from July 24 until Aug 19.

He said all of them have been placed under quarantine at 67 hotels and five public training institutions in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Penang, Johor, Sarawak, Kelantan, Perak, Kedah, Perlis, Terengganu and Labuan, according to a statement yesterday.

He further said 43 returnees were sent to the hospital for treatment and 6,316 people have been discharged.

They returned to Malaysia from 32 countries, including the Asean countries, Qatar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, India, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, Iran, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Timor Leste, Taiwan, China, the UK, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Egypt, Spain, France, Australia, New Zealand and the US.

Ismail Sabri said the Royal Malaysia Police conducted 380 inspections on Wednesday on individuals undergoing the 14-day mandatory quarantine at home and found that they complied with the standard operating procedures.

He also said the compliance operation task force led by police had conducted 67,369 inspections on Wednesday and arrested 117 individuals for violating the Recovery Movement Control Order.

He added that 91 of them were compounded and 26 held in remand for offences that included, among others, failure in providing the in and out record or equipment (37), not wearing face masks (eight), and premises operating overtime (two).

The minister said police held 64 roadblocks and inspected 25,333 vehicles on Wednesday under “Ops Benteng” to curb the entry of illegal immigrants.

He said 10 sanitation operations were carried out by the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia in Sabah, Sarawak, Melaka, Perak and Kedah involving nine green zones and one yellow zone.