We’ll see in 2 weeks, health DG says on infection fears from court gathering

Part of the crowd outside the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday.

PUTRAJAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says the ministry will only know in two weeks’ time if yesterday’s gathering by Najib Razak’s supporters outside the Kuala Lumpur High Court results in a rise in Covid-19 cases.

He said the health ministry would monitor the situation for the next 14 days to see if there is an increase in new infections.

“If there is, we will carry out case detection and contact tracing,” he said, adding that those who test positive will be sent to hospital.

“We pray there will be no increase. There’s nothing yet so far,” he said in a session with the media here today.

Yesterday, hundreds of supporters had surrounded Najib on his walk from Masjid Wilayah to the courthouse for the verdict in his SRC International case.

Some also shook hands with the former prime minister.

Noor Hisham had expressed disappointment at the events, saying it was “sad to see this situation where there is no self-control”.

PKR MP Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh had also expressed concern over the large crowd at the court complex, saying it could spark a new Covid-19 cluster.

Earlier today, police said they would call the organisers involved in the gathering as a police report had been lodged.

Meanwhile, Noor Hisham said the minister would be including a syllabus on public health in subjects taught in school following the virus outbreak.

“We are looking at the initiatives we have taken (to combat the pandemic) and how we can come up with a syllabus,” he said.

In April, FMT reported former health ministry officials and educationists urging the government to consider strengthening topics on health in the school curriculum to ensure preparedness for epidemics such as Covid-19.

While they acknowledged that lessons on health issues were already in the curriculum, they said topics on infectious diseases could be expanded so that students could learn of their dangers and how to respond.