Police tracing unwell homeless man who attended Sri Petaling 'tabligh' event

A homeless man escaped from a public health centre was exhibiting signs that were similar to that of the Covid-19 virus. — Bernama pic
A homeless man escaped from a public health centre was exhibiting signs that were similar to that of the Covid-19 virus. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — A 54-year-old homeless man that escaped from a public health centre (Klinik Kesihatan) yesterday afternoon after exhibiting symptoms similar to those associated with the Covid-19 outbreak is currently being traced.

Shah Alam district deputy police chief Supt Ramsay Anak Embol told Malay Mail that efforts to locate the man is ongoing.

“He is a beggar, a homeless person who sleeps anywhere he likes, has no house and no proper address, but when they (doctors) checked him and they said his body was exhibiting signs that were similar to that of the Covid-19 virus.

“So we are trying to trace him and see if we can find him; we are looking for a sick person so we have to be careful,” he said when contacted.

Ramsay clarified that the patient was not yet quarantined or detained by the health centre at the point he escaped.

He said a doctor from the clinic lodged the report after the man went missing.

Among the contents of the police report, which has since made its rounds on social media, detailed how the potentially infected person had recently attended the “ijtimak tabligh” gathering at the Jamek Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur between February 28 and March 1.

According to the police report sighted by Malay Mail, the man had sought treatment from the Bukit Naga Health Centre in Shah Alam yesterday morning, where doctors examined him and diagnosed him with a high fever while showing suspected signs of the Covid-19 infection.

After initial tests conducted at 10.25am were completed, the patient was then placed in a separate isolated camp at around 1pm.

About 10-minutes later, the report detailed how the doctor on-call was notified by a medical attendant that the patient was missing and is believed to have escaped.

It also included how calls were made to the patient’s mobile phone, with him initially answering and promising to return to the clinic, but further attempts at contacting him failed.

The three-day “ijtimak tabligh” was attended by a crowd of around 16,000 people from around the region, 14,500 of which were Malaysians.

Locally, the attendees have been tracked to Negri Sembilan, Johor, Pahang, and Sabah.

Internationally, the event has already been confirmed to be the source of Brunei’s first confirmed Covid-19 infection, which has now spiraled to 25 cases in a matter of days.

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