Johor rep: Failure to follow SOP at events main cause of spike in state’s Covid-19 cases

Malaysian Muslims observe social distancing at the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur May 15, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Malaysian Muslims observe social distancing at the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur May 15, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

JOHOR BARU, Nov 25 — Most of the Covid-19 cases reported in Johor recently have been linked to social and religious gatherings, such as feasts and programmes at houses of worship, said State Health and Environment Committee chairman R. Vidyananthan.

He said most of those present at these events were revealed to have flouted the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the National Security Council (NSC).

“We find that they are no longer avoiding the 3S (Malay for Sesak, Sempit and Sembang Dekat) which is to avoid tight spaces, congested areas and close communication.

“The Covid-19 situation remains worrying. The community is advised to reduce their social activities that do not comply with the SOP to minimise the risk of transmission among family and friends,” said Vidyananthan in a statement issued here today.

Vidyananthan pointed out that the recent increase in cases is due to active case detection (ACD).

“The ACD activities found that there are many instances of people with symptoms not seeking treatment immediately,” he said.

Yesterday saw 19 new cases reported in the state, namely five cases from existing clusters, nine cases from close contact screenings and five cases from other forms of screening.

This brings the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases to 1,119, out of which 952 cases have recovered, which is 85 per cent of the total number of cases. Meanwhile, 132 active cases are currently being treated in hospital.

Apart from that, Vidyananthan said a new cluster was reported in Johor yesterday, namely the Kobena Cluster which involves the Johor Baru district.

“The index case had Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARIs) and was reported positive on November 20.

“Until yesterday, 150 individuals were screened where 15 cases were detected positive for Covid-19 from this cluster,” said Vidyananthan, who is also the Kahang assemblyman.

Vidyananthan said this brings to 10 the number of active clusters in Johor until yesterday involving the Kobena Cluster (Johor Baru district), Kota Kecil Cluster (Kota Tinggi district), Makmur Cluster (Kulai district), Kiambang Cluster (Tenggaroh district) and Parit Kassan Cluster (Grisek district).

In addition to that, he said there is the Jeri Cluster (Sedili Besar district), Meldrum Cluster (Kota Tinggi district), Bayu Cluster (Johor Baru city district), Kempas Cluster (Tebrau district) and Padang Cluster (Ulu Sungai Johor district).

“Close contact tracing and Covid-19 testing are still being carried out by the respective district health offices involved,” he said.

Meanwhile, Vidyananthan added that a total of 2,437 individuals have used the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) scheme and another 14,227 under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) scheme for entry into Johor from Singapore until yesterday.

He added that the number of Covid-19 positive cases detected among users of the scheme remained at three.

Related Articles