Ex-minister and deputy in the clear

PETALING JAYA: For a day or two, it looked like Covid-19 had entered the country’s political equation. A former minister and his deputy were recently seen in close contact with a corporate executive identified as the 26th person in Malaysia infected with the disease.

However, the Health Ministry said both men tested negative.

Given the flurry of political meetings over the past week, there was concern whether the encounter between the two politicians and Case No. 26 would worsen the Covid-19 situation here.

Former entrepreneur development and cooperatives minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof and his former deputy at the ministry, Datuk Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, went for testing at Hospital Sungai Buloh at about 1.30pm yesterday.

Meanwhile, UDA Holdings Bhd (UDA), a property company under Redzuan’s ministry, said one of its board members had been tested positive for Covid-19 and was being quarantined in a government hospital.

It is learnt that the board member, who is also part of the Khazanah Nasional Bhd management, was at a function attended by Redzuan and Hatta.

On Sunday, a news portal reported that a Covid-19 patient was believed to have been in close contact with the two leaders at an event held on Feb 27 to show appreciation for them as they were leaving the ministry following the dissolution of the Pakatan Harapan Cabinet.

“Based on the matter above, UDA is in the midst of taking preventative measures by identifying other individuals who have been in close contact with the individual.

“UDA will cooperate with the Health Ministry from time to time, ” said UDA in a statement.

The company added that preventive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus had been tightened including at subsidiary AnCasa Hotel Kuala Lumpur, which is the venue of the Feb 27 event according to news reports.

“The UDA management stresses that so far there are no cases involving any of its in-house guests and the business is operating as usual.

“The hotel’s management has also taken the necessary measures by adopting the standard operating procedures issued by the Health Ministry to sanitise the whole area of the hotel.

“UDA and the hotel management will continue to take proactive measures from time to time, ” said the company.

When contacted, Hatta confirmed that he had voluntarily gone to the hospital to get tested after he found out that the UDA board member had tested positive for Covid-19.

“He is now under self-quarantine at home in Ampang, ” said the aide, who declined to be named.

Redzuan also confirmed that he went for testing at the same hospital.

“I am feeling normal. Doctor was very happy, ” he said.

On Sunday, Khazanah said one of its employees had been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Case No. 26 is a 52-year-old Malaysian who travelled to Shanghai in mid-January. He started having fever and sore throat on Feb 27 and sought outpatient treatment at a private hospital on the same day.

He tested positive on Feb 29 and was admitted to the isolation ward at Hospital Sungai Buloh.

Subang MP Wong Chen yesterday said that he would be in self-quarantine for two days following reports that the two former ministry heads were in close contact with the Covid-19 patient.

“I am perfectly fine healthwise this morning, ” he tweeted.

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