Latest cluster found in old folks home

PUTRAJAYA: An old folks home in Kuala Selangor is the newest Covid-19 cluster in the country after the Health Ministry detected three infections originating from there.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says the latest case is a 69-year-old resident of the home.

“He was admitted to the Tanjung Karang Hospital for Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) on June 13. A Covid-19 test conducted on him revealed that he is positive for the virus.

“Previously, the ministry had conducted screening at the old folks home and the patient tested negative for Covid-19 then, ” he said at the Covid-19 press conference here.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry previously found two positive cases at the home on May 17.

“At that time, 12 staff and 26 residents of the home were tested. All 12 staff and 24 out of 26 residents tested negative for Covid-19, ” he said.

The two positive cases have so far recovered and been discharged, which means there is only one active case related to the cluster.

Dr Noor Hisham said active case detection as well as sanitisation and disinfection were being carried out at the home.

Yesterday, Dr Noor Hisham announced 41 new infections in the country, with 38 of them being local transmissions, while three others were imported cases involving Malaysians returning from Singapore.

Of the 38 locally transmitted cases, 32 involved non-Malaysians; with 15 new cases from the Pedas cluster in Negri Sembilan, 14 from the Bukit Jalil immigration depot cluster and two from the cleaning services company cluster.

Another one is detected from a screening on employees conducted by a cleaning company in Kuala Lumpur.

There are now 973 active cases in the country, with four people under intensive care and none on ventilator support. There is no new death, which keeps the death toll at 121.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the implementation of two shifts for government health clinics to ease congestion must be studied first.

“If we look at the congestion at health clinics, one of the suggestions was to implement a two-shift system so that the operating hours can be extended.

“But we need to look at human resources in the ministry first and increase the number of staff before we can have two shifts.

“This is because if we use the personnel we have now, maybe many will not agree to it. They will have to work for two shifts (in a row), from morning until night, ” he said.

On another matter, Dr Noor Hisham said members of the public should ask for the authority card of ministry’s personnel if they had doubts.

“They can also call the district health office if they suspect something amiss, ” he said.

On the Covid-19 positive barber in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, Dr Noor Hisham said 29 of his close contacts tested negative for the virus.

“Upon investigation, only 31 were classified as close contacts of the barber and 29 have tested negative, with two results pending.

“So there is no ‘barbershop cluster’ as there is only one positive case so far, ” he said.

The barber was reported to have conducted illegal house calls during the movement control order period.

Source: The Star

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