Ismail Sabri: 60 cases from Covid-19 cluster at Bukit Jalil immigration depot sent to MAEPS quarantine centre for treatment

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya May 22, 2020. — Bernama pic
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya May 22, 2020. — Bernama pic

PUTRAJAYA, May 22 — The authorities have decided to send undocumented immigrants placed at the Immigration Department’s Bukit Jalil custody depot to the temporary hospital at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) convention centre for Covid-19 treatment. 

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said 60 individuals have been sent to MAEPS after testing positive for the Covid-19, following reports yesterday of a new cluster emerging at the depot.

“Currently the Health Ministry is conducting screening and swab testing for all 1,200 detainees in the Bukit Jalil depot,” he said during the daily press conference.

Ismail added that all 114 of the Immigration personnel on duty at Bukit Jalil have also been tested and the results came back as negative.

“The Bukit Jalil cluster involves undocumented immigrants who were detained before the movement control order (MCO) came into effect on March 18. Later it also included those rounded up in Masjid India in Kuala Lumpur, during the extended MCO.

“Since in depots they are not isolated from one another but live side by side in dormitories, it is possible the infection spread out from one or more individuals,” he said.

The minister also said the depot in Semenyih is also conducting screening and swab tests on all 1,600 of its detainees, as an added precaution. 

“So far two Covid-19 positive cases have been detected in the Semenyih depot. However, I assure the public that there is no need to worry, as the detainees were already isolated from the wider society and did not mix with outsiders, so the virus will not spread elsewhere.

“Once the depots have been cleared, all Immigration officers are to henceforth wear full personal protective equipment while on duty, compared to the previous practice of only wearing masks and gloves,” Ismail said.

Meanwhile the Housing and Local Government Ministry has conducted 6,951 public sanitation operations since efforts began on March 30, covering 174 zones nationwide including 78 yellow and red zones.

As of yesterday 93 sanitation operations covering 36 red and yellow zones in 13 states were carried out, including 18 in Johor, 17 in Sabah, 15 in Sabah, and 11 in Pahang. A total of 10,576 government premises, business premises and public areas have been sanitised.

Similarly, the number of operational Covid-19 quarantine centres in the country as of 8am today has increased to 268, compared to 263 the day before, where 17,174 individuals are undergoing the mandatory quarantine process.

Approximately 913 Malaysian citizens returned home from abroad yesterday and were placed in quarantine for two weeks. To date, 39,481 citizens have undergone the process since it became mandatory on April 3, and 30,976 have since finished the process and permitted to return home.

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