Parliament under lockdown after two Covid-19 cases detected, MPs told to stay put until screenings are done

Parliament compound under heavy guard by police July 29, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Parliament compound under heavy guard by police July 29, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — Following the detection of two Covid-19 cases, Parliament will go into immediate lockdown with everyone present including staff, media and lawmakers barred from leaving the premises until mass swab tests are completed.

Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon made the announcement soon after Parliament was due to resume its special sitting this afternoon. 

“I have received a letter from the Health director-general dated July 29 that reads, ‘It is with regret that the Ministry of Health was informed on July 29 at 12pm of two Covid-19 cases detected in Parliament’.

“The first case is an official who was present for work in Parliament from Monday, July 26 until Wednesday, July 28 with the CT value of 18.7 high viral load and infectivity while the second case were found positive on Thursday, July 29, during a screening in Parliament using the RTK-Ag Saliva Test.

“Risk assessment based on preliminary investigations show both cases were in several locations in Parliament during that time. With that, Covid-19 mass screening will be done on all in attendance and are in Parliament Malaysia, including all members of Parliament, officers and workers. 

“No one is allowed to leave Parliament until the results are obtained,” said Rashid, adding that the mass screening will be conducted at Parliament’s main block.

Rashid also said that today’s Dewan Rakyat sitting is postponed to 5:15pm.
 
Uproar broke out in the lower House of Parliament earlier after Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim read out the Istana Negara statement in which Yang Di Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah clarified that he had not assented to the revocation of the Emergency Ordinances (EO).
 
The King was responding to de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan who announced in Parliament on July 21 that the government had already revoked the EO.
 
Takiyuddin’s announcement took the Opposition lawmakers by surprise. They questioned the surreptitious revocation and demanded the resignation of both the PAS minister and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin over the matter.

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