Undocumented migrants at 2 depots undergoing Covid-19 swab tests

Health workers carry out swab tests on members of the public to determine the presence of Covid-19.

PUTRAJAYA: The health ministry is conducting Covid-19 swab tests at two immigration depots after several undocumented migrants there tested positive for the virus.

Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said 1,200 to 1,600 undocumented migrants would be screened, as well as the officers at the Bukit Jalil and Semenyih depots.

This follows the announcement by the ministry yesterday that a new cluster had been identified at the Bukit Jalil depot after 35 cases were detected.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the 35 migrants were placed at the depot before the movement control order was enforced on March 18.

Speaking at his daily briefing here today, Ismail said two migrants at the Semenyih depot had tested positive for Covid-19.

“Migrants who tested positive were sent to the quarantine centre at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang,” he added.

He said the virus may have spread as the migrants there were staying in dormitories, not individual rooms.

“Those who test positive will be sent to the hospital for treatment.”

Ismail also said that 2,539 drivers attempting to cross state lines to return to their home towns were told to turn back by the police.

He said the most cases were recorded in Melaka (886) followed by Perak (362) and Penang (284).

“Maybe when I announced yesterday that interstate travel was banned, many took the opportunity to cross state borders as they were afraid there would be roadblocks.

“Hence, that was why we saw many more trying to cross state lines.”

Ismail said police also arrested 64 people for flouting SOP. Of these, 40 were remanded and 24 were issued compounds.

As of today, 265 investigation papers have been opened on fake news regarding Covid-19 with 178 still under probe. Thirty have been charged in court while 11 were issued warnings, with 18 pleading guilty.

As of 8am, 17,174 people had been quarantined at 268 centres nationwide.

Ismail also said 1,722 students from higher learning institutions are scheduled to be flown back to Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur, where their campuses are located.

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