Dr Noor Hisham: Covid-19 positive detainees at Bukit Jalil, Semenyih immigration depots are from Pakistan and Myanmar

Health workers test a foreign worker for Covid-19 at Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur April 16, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Health workers test a foreign worker for Covid-19 at Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur April 16, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — The 25 new Covid-19 positive cases that were detected at the Immigration Department’s Bukit Jalil custody depot are Pakistanis, while another two new cases at the Semenyih depot are from Myanmar, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah revealed today.

As a result, all detainees at both detention centres will be tested for Covid-19 as the total number of positive cases from the Bukit Jalil cluster hits 60 today.

“Before sending them (detainees) back, we will have to screen all of them. Only those who are negative will be deported while the positive ones will be treated here.

“In Bukit Jalil, there are 496 detainees and 114 staff have been tested and all are negative,” Dr Noor Hisham said today during his daily Covid-19 briefing.

“Out of the 60 positive cases, 35 came from Block A, which consists of detainees hauled in before the movement control order (MCO) on March 18.

“Another 24 positive cases were detected from among the 396 detainees in Block B, while one case came from Block C out of 229 detainees. Block D is used to house women and children.”

The Bukit Jalil cluster is the latest to be detected by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

There were 35 cases yesterday, involving non-Malaysians, including 17 Myanmar citizens, 15 Indian citizens, one Sri Lankan, one Bangladeshi and one Egyptian.

The MOH carried out control and prevention, including decontamination, health education such as self-cleanliness, and stressing on social distancing at the detention centre yesterday and are still investigating the source of the cluster and infections.

“Including the staff at Bukit Jalil, of which there are 114, as well as 1,400 detainees, so far, only 60 are positive. So we hope to continue screening them.

“We consider a cluster in this detention centre to be like an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in quarantine areas,” Dr Noor Hisham explained.

“So once there is an outbreak, in this case, in the detention centre, we treat it like an EMCO, screen everyone, identify and isolate cases in hospital.”

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