Health ministry working with UNHCR to prevent infections among refugees

It was reported that authorities were trying to track down 2,000 Rohingya who had attended the tabligh gathering at the end of last month. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Director-heneral of health Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry is working closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to ensure that refugees and asylum-seekers are included in prevention and management activities for Covid-19 carried out by the government.

Meanwhile, to trace the participants of the Sri Petaling Mosque tabligh convention last month — now linked to three deaths and numerous other cases — the UNHCR is working with the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (Imaret), the Malaysian Relief Agency and Mercy Malaysia as their NGO partners.

The ministry is also involved in identifying them through the involvement of officers from the district health departments.

He said the collaborative effort will provide information about the Covid-19 disease to refugees and asylum-seekers. They would also provide explanation on the importance of seeking immediate treatment if individuals notice symptoms of the disease, even if they had not participated in the tabligh convention.

“This takes into account those living in small communities and who are often interacting closely,” Hisham added.

It was reported that authorities were trying to track down 2,000 Rohingya who had attended the tabligh gathering at the end of last month.

UNHCR and Rohingya community leaders in Malaysia are stepping up efforts to get refugees who attended the gathering to come forward for coronavirus checks.

A total of 16,000 people of many nationalities attended the four-day event.

Meanwhile, speaking on the homeless, he added the ministry was looking into screening the homeless for Covid-19.

“Around 500 have been identified,” he said, adding that the ministry was now identifying a suitable place to screen them all.

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