Health Ministry confirms man with Covid-19 took JB-Kuantan bus, taking needed precautions

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya March 19, 2020. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya March 19, 2020. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

PUTRAJAYA, March 19 ― The Health Ministry assured Malaysians today it was taking all necessary precautions after confirming that a man positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) travelled by bus from Johor to Pahang.

“The case that was mentioned is true.

“The patient was symptomatic and we are taking all the necessary measures to trace the passengers and urge them to go for screening,” Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said in a press conference at the ministry here.

Earlier today, a news outlet reported that the man voluntarily underwent testing for Covid-19 in Johor but did not observe the 14-day medical quarantine.

Instead, he boarded a bus from Johor Bahru’s Larkin Sentral station to travel to Kuantan, Pahang during which time the test result returned positive for Covid-19.

Dr Adham also explained that test results usually take 24 hours to be ready.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah yesterday warned that Malaysia could suffer a third wave of Covid-19 infections reaching tsunami-like proportions unless Malaysians strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Malaysia is under the government’s restriction of movement order from yesterday until March 31, with all public gatherings banned with the aim of preventing crowds from forming and to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The government this morning issued new regulations that said no one is to move around within the state or federal territory where they are located, unless it is to perform official duties; to buy, supply or deliver food or daily necessities; or to seek healthcare or medical services, or for any other special purposes allowed by the director-general.

They can also only make a journey to and from a limited category of premises, including premises that provide essential services; premises selling food for drive-through, takeaway and delivery; or premises involved in the food supply chain.

The new regulations also disallow anyone from travelling between different states in Malaysia unless they have already obtained written permission from a police officer in charge of a police station.

On Tuesday, the National Security Council (NSC) advised Malaysians to cancel any holiday plans they have made for travel within Malaysia, including those they have already paid for.

Anyone who fails to comply with these new regulations will be committing an offence that is punishable by a maximum fine of RM1,000, or a maximum six-month jail term, or both.

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