Kedah hospital forced to close for disinfection after Covid-19 patient lied about tabligh link

A man wears a protective mask as he attends Friday prayers at Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque in Shah Alam March 13, 2020. A hospital in Kedah has been forced to temporarily close after a pregnant woman who tested positive for Covid-19 hid her link to the tabligh event in Kuala Lumpur. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A man wears a protective mask as he attends Friday prayers at Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque in Shah Alam March 13, 2020. A hospital in Kedah has been forced to temporarily close after a pregnant woman who tested positive for Covid-19 hid her link to the tabligh event in Kuala Lumpur. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — A hospital in Kedah has been forced to temporarily close after a pregnant woman who tested positive for Covid-19 hid her link to the tabligh event in Kuala Lumpur that is behind Malaysia’s new wave of infections.

The Pantai Hospital Laguna Merbok authorities said the woman did not disclose all her travel and contact details. The hospital authorities later found she had Covid-19 after she developed a fever.

“The case is of a 30-year-old Malaysian woman who did not provide full disclosure during the screening process at the hospital and was admitted for (birth) delivery following the usual process,” it said in a statement.

“However, she developed a fever after giving birth.

“Further questioning led to the finding that the woman had been living with a family member who had attended the tabligh gathering at the Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur and who tested positive for Covid-19.”

Pantai Hospital Laguna Merbok will now close on March 22 and 23 to undergo “full terminal disinfection and fumigation”.

The hospital also issued a stern message urging patients to be upfront about their medical and travel history.

“The hospital urges all visitors to do their part to curb the spread of Covid-19 by being socially responsible,” it said.

“This includes practising good personal hygiene and providing full and accurate disclosure during the screening process.”

The patient is now being treated at Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah in Alor Setar.

The private healthcare facility said it is now disinfecting all areas visited by the patient. Contact tracing has also begun.

“All staff who had been in contact with the patient have been identified, placed under quarantine and (they have) tested negative for Covid-19,” it said.

Federal authorities warned yesterday that those who conceal information will be penalised.

Public health agencies say efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak have been hampered by patients withholding information, particularly among those linked to the tabligh event at a Sri Petaling mosque here last month.

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