Covid-19 cases in Sivagangga, Kurau clusters spread during festivities

Heath director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says the Kurau cluster has reported three new cases.

PUTRAJAYA: A large number of positive Covid-19 cases under the Sivagangga and Kurau clusters contracted the virus during festivities, the health ministry has revealed.

At a press conference, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said investigations into the two clusters, which had recorded more cases after the festivities, showed they were spread during visits among family members.

Today, three new cases were recorded from the Kurau cluster which involves patients in Perak and Penang.

A total of 125 people have been screened with 112 testing negative and five testing positive. The results for another eight are pending.

“Though visitations are allowed, they are still subject to SOPs. Physical distancing must be observed at all places, including among family members,” Noor Hisham said.

“Individuals who are unwell or symptomatic should not be visiting or participating in any festivities.”

He said the authorities were studying the genomic sequence of the virus among the Sivagangga cluster to identify if it was a super-spreader coronavirus strain.

He said the authorities had managed to control the spread of infections in Kedah, Penang and Perlis.

Noor Hisham also explained why the ministry was not testing the maximum number of samples.

“Our capacity is 38,600 but we need not test the number everyday. What is more important is that we tighten our borders, continue to make sure we can break the chain of infection locally, and allow the local economy and social sectors to resume according to SOPs.

“We are on the right course, if your (positive) rate is 8.1% than you have to do more tests, it’s not the number of tests that is important but the positivity (rate) that is detected.”