Health Ministry: Covid-19 cases among migrant now over 2,400, six new infections reported

Foreign construction workers waiting in line to be screened for Covid-19 at a clinic in Pudu, May 15, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Foreign construction workers waiting in line to be screened for Covid-19 at a clinic in Pudu, May 15, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — The total number of Covid-19 positive cases among migrants now stands over 2,400 with six new infections reported as of noon today, the Ministry of Health announced this evening.

Public health authorities have screened over 50,000 migrants, both documented and without, to date.

Of this, 2,470 tested positive while 47,000 came out negative. There are still close to a thousand pending cases.

The government has come under fire for its handling of migrants throughout the pandemic.

Critics accused the Malaysian authorities of inhumane treatment of the community, who are often subject to brutal raids, rounded up and later held in detention cells where conditions have been reported to be unsanitary.

The overcrowded cells is also seen as the source of infection among migrants, which surged drastically after the authorities began raiding and arresting migrants residing in areas under total lockdown.

The raids sparked public uproar and reignited the debate about whether or not the country should enact laws to protect migrants and recognise refugees.

There have been five lethal Covid-19 cases involving migrants, with one reported as of noon today.

Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the deceased was an Indian national, in his 70s, detained at the Bukit Jalil depot here as an “illegal immigrant”.

He was found sprawled on the detention centre floor unconscious and declared dead on June 12. The man has a history of chronic illnesses prior to his death.

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