Health D-G: Foreigners account for 416 of Malaysia’s Covid-19 total

A medical worker takes a swab at a Covid-19 drive-through screening area at KPJ Ampang Puteri April 9, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
A medical worker takes a swab at a Covid-19 drive-through screening area at KPJ Ampang Puteri April 9, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — Nearly 10 per cent of Malaysia’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients are non-nationals, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.

The group accounted for 416 of the country’s 4,228 Covid-19 cases.

In his daily Covid-19 press conference today, the Health director-general also said two of the country’s 67 deaths from the disease were foreigners. One was a Pakistani (Case 1,906) and the other was an Indian national.

Of the 416 cases, 51 were from Indonesia, 37 from India, 31 from Myanmar, 29 from Pakistan, and 27 from the Philippines

Dr Noor Hisham said health authorities were also working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and non-governmental organisations to trace refugees and asylum seekers for Covid-19 screening.

He said volunteers were also helping the ministry trace refugees, asylum seekers and migrant groups for screening.

“In the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur alone, a total of 137 volunteers from various sectors have mobilised to carry out this activity,” he said.

Such groups remain a problem for health authorities trying to screen those at risk of Covid-19 either due to direct exposure to index patients or subsequent generations of the infected.

Thousands were believed to have attended a religious event in Sri Petaling that became the country’s single largest Covid-19 cluster, but many have yet to come forward for testing due to reported fears of being detained for immigration offences.

 

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