Health DG warns public against balik kampung

PUTRAJAYA: With the Hari Raya festivities just around the corner, the Health Ministry has warned of the risk of spreading Covid-19 if people travel interstate.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said at least 14% of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia, or 971 infections, had a history of interstate travel.

“Some 18 clusters from a total of 48 clusters recorded in the country have to do with activities which involved crossing interstate borders and 10 of these clusters are still active, ” he said at the daily Covid-19 press briefings here yesterday.

He said such cases were a cause of concern, as some had taken place even under the implementation of the conditional movement control order (MCO).

“Checks by the police on May 15 found that a total of 508 motorists had tried to cross interstate borders with the excuse of wanting to balik kampung.

“This number increased on May 16 to 1,248 vehicles that tried to cross interstate borders, ” he said.

He cautioned Malaysians not to slacken in adopting preventive measures, especially with Hari Raya celebrations around the corner.

“The public must be more careful during the festive season because it may cause the spread of infections, especially in green zone areas.

“We look at the experience of other countries such as Iran.

“When they had a festival and many returned to their hometowns, the number of infections spiked.”

Dr Noor Hisham also said there were now 22 blood plasma packs donated by former Covid-19 patients for treatment and further research.

“There have been nine patients who donated their blood plasma, three of whom have donated twice, ” he said.

He added that the blood plasma packs had not yet been used, but distributed in Kuala Lumpur and places in Sabah and Sarawak.

“The only question is when to use this. If there is an indication of (the need) to use this plasma, we will, especially for patients who have poor immune response, ” he said.

Meanwhile, only two Members of Parliament did not go for the Covid-19 tests as they are currently under quarantine.

“Ten people did not attend the testing, eight of whom are Parliament staff members.

“The remaining two are MPs who did not do so as they are under quarantine due to close contact with Covid-19 patients, ” he said.

He added that those who went for the tests before the one-day Parliament sitting numbered 950, and their results were negative.

The country reported 22 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, with 59 patients who recovered and were discharged.

There are still 1,210 active cases, with 13 being treated in the intensive care unit.

Source: The Star

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