Covid-19: Cabinet ministers quarantined

Although Muhyiddin will be undergoing a 14-day self-quarantine at his residence, the PM says govt affairs will not be interrupted

by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by BERNAMA

ALL attendees of a special National Security Council (NSC) meeting on Oct 3, including Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, are told to home quarantine for 14 days.

This came after Minister in the PM’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, who had attended the said meeting, was confirmed to be positive for Covid-19 yesterday.

Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said activities such as close contact tracing and investigations are ongoing, including symptomatic screening and swab tests for any signs of Covid-19 for the other attendees.

“All of the identified close contacts have been given a letter of 14-day Home Surveillance Order from the last date of their exposure,” he said in a statement yesterday, adding that they were directed to wear surveillance bracelets.

He also said that accordingly, all those who attended the meeting underwent a health screening yesterday and their samples were taken for the Covid-19 detection test.

Additionally, the Ministry of Health (MoH) had advised other non-close contact meeting members to undergo self-quarantine for 14 days starting from Oct 3 until Oct 16.

They are required to monitor their health at home every day using the home assessment tool in the MySejahtera application.

Zulkifli, after being confirmed to be positive for the virus yesterday, released a statement saying that despite having been diagnosed, he was feeling healthy.

He also called on the public who had attended events in which he was present from Sept 24 to Oct 4 to immediately undergo Covid-19 screenings.

The PM had also issued a statement yesterday saying that although he will be undergoing a 14-day self-quarantine at his residence, government affairs will not be interrupted.

“I will continue to work from home and use video conferencing for meetings that I have to chair.

“As a precaution, I also did a swab test every two weeks since April 2020 and all these detection tests have been confirmed to be negative.”

Muhyiddin also emphasised that he had done three Covid-19 tests in the past three weeks and all showed negative results.

Among those present at the NSC meeting on Oct 3 were Dr Noor Hisham, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Senior Minister of Education Dr Radzi Jidin, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador and other related ministers.

As such, both Covid-19 related press conferences by Ismail Sabri and Dr Noor Hisham which were scheduled yesterday were also cancelled.

New Covid-19 positive cases in the country surged to a record high yesterday with 432, involving 429 local transmissions and three imported cases.

Dr Noor Hisham said most local cases yesterday were found in Kedah with 241 cases, followed by Sabah (130) and Selangor (34). Five cases were found in Terengganu and Kuala Lumpur respectively, while four cases were detected in Labuan.

Johor, Perak and Putrajaya recorded two cases each, while Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Melaka and Kelantan recorded one case each.

As for the imported cases, Dr Noor Hisham said the returnees were from India, Kuwait and Myanmar.

Additionally, Dr Noor Hisham announced that the MoH has detected three new Covid-19 clusters yesterday — two in Kedah and one in Terengganu.

The “Bah Sintok” and “Jeram” clusters were both detected in Kubang Pasu, Kedah, while the “Bah Tanjung” cluster was detected in Kuala Nerus, Terengganu.

The index cases for the Bah Sintok and Bah Tanjung clusters were individuals who had recently returned from Sabah.

The increase in new cases yesterday brought the country’s overall total to 12,813 with 2,336 active cases that are being treated at health facilities nationwide.

Among the active cases yesterday, 32 were placed in the intensive care unit, with eight of them requiring respiratory aid.

Fifty-seven patients were discharged yesterday, raising the total recovered cases in the country to 10,340 or 80.7%. No new deaths were recorded with the country’s death tally still at 137.