Health Ministry: 105 new Covid-19 cases from Utama cluster, index case identified as security guard

A general view of the 1 Utama shopping centre in Petaling Jaya October 11, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
A general view of the 1 Utama shopping centre in Petaling Jaya October 11, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 ― The Ministry of Health (MoH) has announced today 105 new Covid-19 cases detected from the Utama cluster that involved the 1 Utama Shopping Mall in Petaling Jaya.

This brings the total of the positive cases from the cluster to 132 ― with one reported in Melaka and the rest in Selangor.

“These cases involved 107 non-Malaysian citizens and 25 Malaysians,” Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in his daily press briefing.

From the 132 positive Covid-19 cases detected, 87 are security personnel, 18 cleaning workers, 16 employees at mall premises, six mall patrons, and five family members of patient #12,549 that was initially thought to be the index case.

“As of October 15, a total of 447 individuals have been screened.

“Out of this number, 132 cases tested positive, 269 tested negative and 46 individuals are still waiting for test results,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

Dr Noor Hisham also clarified today that ministry has identified case #15,023 as the index case of the cluster in question.

“The index case for this cluster ― case 15,023 ― is a 28-year-old male citizen of Nepal who is a security personnel in one of the shopping malls in the Petaling district,” he said.

“The index case began to experience symptoms such as fever, cough and flu since September 22 and was tested positive on October 8 through a close contact screening and has been admitted to Sungai Buloh Hospital for treatment.”

Earlier today, the management of the 1 Utama shopping centre said an official report claiming 63 Covid-19 cases were detected from its mall was incorrect and misleading.

In a statement this morning, 1 Utama said the 44 reportedly infected security guards were not part of the mass testing conducted by health authorities and the management after the centre was closed following the detection of Covid-19 cases there.

It asserted that only 21 positive Covid-19 results have been returned after around 6,000 tests were run on tenants and employees at the mall.

On Sunday, the Petaling District Disaster Management Committee had directed 1 Utama and the nearby Tropicana Golf and Country Resort to close from October 11 for contact tracing and sanitisation after Covid-19 cases were confirmed at both locations.

The workers’ dormitory at Tropicana was also placed under an enhanced movement control order, after which dozens of Covid-19 cases were detected there.

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