Health DG: Healthcare workers most likely infected each other

by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by BERNAMA

COVID-19 infections among medical frontliners in both public and private healthcare sectors were most likely transmitted by their own colleagues.

Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (picture) said this accounted for 53% of the total Covid-19 positive cases involving healthcare workers, which translates to more than half.

He added that about 22% are infections from the community, while infections during the management of Covid-19 patients, whose status have not been confirmed yet, stood at 17%.

“So far, no Health Ministry staff was infected with Covid-19 during patient management in the ward or the intensive care unit (ICU).

“It is very important for healthcare workers to ensure prevention measures are observed at all times, especially while on duty,” he said in his Covid-19 statement yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham added that physical distancing in the workplace, among colleagues and during patient management should be practiced throughout working hours.

He also reminded healthcare workers to use appropriate personal protective equipment during clinical procedures while dealing with Covid-19 positive patients.

Yesterday, 24 new Covid-19 cases were recorded involving 18 local transmissions and six imported cases.

Dr Noor Hisham said of the local cases, 13 were from the Sungai cluster, two from the Benteng Lahad Datu cluster, one case from a screening at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Kedah and one case each in the Telaga and Tawar clusters.

For the six imported cases, three were Malaysians and three non-citizens. The infections took place in Bangladesh (two cases), China, Indonesia, Singapore and South Korea.

“However, the infected non-citizens had entered Malaysia before entry restrictions were implemented, which only came into effect on Sept 7,” he added.

The new cases have brought the country’s overall total to 9,583.

There are now 312 active Covid-19 cases that are being treated at health facilities nationwide.

Seven patients have been placed in the ICU, with four requiring respiratory aid.

Another seven patients were discharged yesterday, increasing the total recovered cases to 9,143, or 95.4%.

The Covid-19 death toll remained at 128 or 1.35%.

Separately, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said 25,688 individuals have returned to the country through international check points between July 24 and Sept 8.

They have been placed at 78 hotels and four public training institutes nationwide.

“Of that number, 10,390 individuals are undergoing mandatory quarantine and 68 individuals were sent to the hospitals for treatment.

“A total of 15,230 individuals have been discharged and allowed to return home,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said police had arrested 221 people for violating the Recovery Movement Control Order on Tuesday.

Of the total, 118 were caught for taking part in pub and nightclub activities.

“The arrests were made after 61,462 checks conducted by the compliance operations task force led by police nationwide,” he said.

Under Ops Benteng, the senior minister said a total of 24 arrests were made involving 61 illegal immigrants and five suspected traffickers.

The checks also involved inspection of 24,972 vehicles, which contributed to the arrest of 11 individuals for various immigration-related offences.