Cops called in after dad of tabligh attendee refuses Covid-19 screening

A screenshot showing police in protective gear apprehending a man in Labuan for Covid-19 screening.

KOTA KINABALU: Police resorted to force yesterday to compel a man in Labuan to undergo screening for Covid-19 after it was found that his son had attended the tabligh gathering at the Sri Petaling mosque in Kuala Lumpur.

Health authorities instructed the 68-year-old man to undergo voluntary screening after his son informed them that he was living with his father.

But when personnel from the health department visited the man’s flat at Taman Mutiara Sg Bedaun, they had to call the police for help as he refused to comply with their instructions.

Videos of police officers dressed in protective gear forcing the man to leave his apartment unit and walking him to a waiting ambulance quickly went viral.

In one clip, the man could be seen resisting their attempts to apprehend him.

Labuan police chief Muhamad Farid Ahmad said the man was required to go to the Labuan Hospital for tests as he had been in close contact with his son who attended the tabligh gathering.

The gathering has been linked to more than half of Malaysia’s 900 confirmed cases so far.

“On Mar 17, the Labuan Hospital told him to go for the screening voluntarily but he ignored the order.

“After that, the health team followed up and went to his residence to take him to the hospital yesterday but, once again, he refused to give his cooperation,” Farid said, adding that the police were then called in.

“At 4pm, police from the Criminal Investigation Department went there and used minimal force, as provided for under Section 15(2) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease Act 1988, to bring the man to the hospital,” he said.

He added that the man is now under quarantine at the hospital for 14 days.