21 Covid-19 cases detected at Semenyih immigration depot

New Covid-19 cases have been detected at the Semenyih immigration depot.

PUTRAJAYA: A Covid-19 cluster has been detected at yet another immigration detention centre, with the Semenyih depot registering 21 cases in total.

In his daily press briefing, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the new cases were detected today.

This is the second depot to report a Covid-19 cluster, after the Bukit Jalil detention centre.

Noor Hisham said samples had been taken from 1,631 detainees and 121 staff at the depot.

The nationalities of the 21 patients are still unknown, as well as whether they had been detained prior to or during the movement control order (MCO).

Noor Hashim said the health ministry will liaise with the Immigration Department to conduct screening and disinfection at the centres, and to ensure detainees have sufficient space for themselves.

The source of infection of both the Bukit Jalil and Semenyih depot clusters are still being probed.

“It’s still controlled since it’s confined to the depot. We will handle it as if there’s an enhanced MCO in the area.

“We are also looking into whether the staff themselves are bringing in the infection.

“The detainees can’t go anywhere but the staff are the ones going in and out. But so far, all staff have tested negative.”

He said there were no new cases from the Bukit Jalil depot today, with the positive patients already under isolation and treatment in hospital and close contacts undergoing a 14-day quarantine.

He added that the SOPs at centres were being looked into, while swab tests are now mandatory for detainees, who must first test negative before they are allowed to be placed at detention centres.

Noor Hisham added that prisons were also considered a high-risk location, due to the possibility of gatherings of people in confined spaces.

He said it was possible that some individuals from localities under EMCO were not properly screened, after 25 people detained at the Bukit Jalil depot, who were detained during the MCO, tested positive.

“Nonetheless, we are investigating the cause of infection and we are taking precautionary measures for all detention centres and also prisons.”

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