93 new infections, almost all of them foreigners

PUTRAJAYA: The Covid-19 death toll remained unchanged at 115 today, with no new deaths reported by the health ministry.

However, 93 new cases were reported, pushing the total number of infected patients nationwide so far to 7,970, with 1,324 active cases.

The new cases were all local transmissions, with 91 comprising foreigners. Only two cases were Malaysians.

At a press conference today, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said six patients are being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU), with two needing respiratory assistance.

He said 61 patients have recovered, bringing the total number of patients discharged so far to 6,531.

Noor Hisham said 55 of the new cases were reported from the Bukit Jalil immigration depot while the Pedas factory workers cluster recorded 36 new cases.

He said the new cases from the Pedas cluster were detected after repeat tests were conducted on workers undergoing quarantine.

“They have already been isolated in the quarantine centre, so they do not pose any risk of transmission to the community,” he said.

The test results of 1,175 other individuals from the Bukit Jalil depot are pending.

The two local transmissions involving Malaysians were detected in Selangor.

Noor Hisham said the administrative lockdown in Taman Langat Murni in Banting, Selangor, from last night is related to the cleaning company cluster reported earlier in Kuala Langat, which currently has 28 cases.

He said there were foreign worker dormitories in the area.

“We are stopping outsiders from coming in, but those inside the compound are allowed to go out, but they have to register with us first.

“Because there are dorms in the area, we are screening everyone there. Perhaps there was exposure when they went to the shops, for example. That’s why we have to screen everyone there,” he said.

On the reopening of schools, he said parents and students will be notified two weeks in advance of any decision made. However, he said this was only for Form 5 and Upper 6 students, who have to sit for major exams.

Noor Hisham said guidelines and SOPs prepared will be improved and implemented better.

He also said Putrajaya could allow Malaysians returning to the country to be exempted from the 14-day mandatory quarantine provided they are screened and tested negative for the virus in their country of origin.

He said this in response to Sabah’s decision yesterday to allow visitors from the peninsula, Sarawak and Labuan to enter the state again.

Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal said people will be exempted from quarantine provided they have undergone Covid-19 screening at their place or state of origin, and tested negative.

Sarawak is also allowing visitors from the peninsula and Sabah but they have to prove they had undergone testing at least three days before that.

“This might be an initiative we can use. We’re also studying if we can use this, not only for Sabah and Sarawak, but for the whole country.”

Noor Hisham said Putrajaya was also considering allowing Malaysians returning from abroad to undergo self-quarantine at their homes, instead of mandatory isolation at a quarantine centre.

“This is another thing that’s under consideration. But what’s for sure is we need to test them (upon arrival). Only if they test negative can they be quarantined at home for 14 days,” he said.

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