PUTRAJAYA: A Covid-19 cluster has been identified, with Malaysia recording 14 new cases to bring the total number of patients to 50.
All of the 14 confirmed cases were found to have been in close contact with “Patient 26”, an UDA Holdings Bhd board member.
This is in addition to the seven positive cases announced on Monday (March 2), which are all linked to the same patient.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry has traced a total of 215 individuals who have been in close contact with Patient 26.
“From that total, 16 individuals have been found to be Covid-19 positive, 19 have tested negative while 180 are still awaiting test results, ” he told a press conference here Wednesday (March 4).
Dr Noor Hisham said another five new positive cases had no relation to Case 26, but had got Covid-19 from friends, family members or colleagues who had close contact with Patient 26.
He said these patients had been in several meetings attended by Patient 26 from Feb 21 to Feb 27.
“Investigation of this cluster brought by Case 26 is still ongoing. Therefore, the ministry hopes everyone can remain calm and continue to cooperate with us by providing the necessary information if they are contacted by us or identified as a close contact, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.
When asked if Patient 26 can be considered a “super spreader”, Dr Noor Hisham replied in the negative.
“I won’t call him a super spreader. There is one case in South Korea where one patient infected more than a thousand others.
“Case 26 is definitely more extraordinary than others. But the good thing is we are able to isolate and trace all his close contacts.
“Credit must go to the ground staff of the ministry, ” he said.
On claims that several companies had ordered their offices to be shut down following suspected Covid-19 cases, Dr Noor Hisham said such a move at this point is not necessary.
“The ministry would like to advise these organisations not to close down their offices. Disinfection of the building is sufficient.
“But if offices want to do so, we cannot stop them, ” he said.
Separately, Felcra Bhd has confirmed that a member of its board of directors tested positive for Covid-19.
In a statement Wednesday, Felcra said that it had instructed workers based at its headquarters to work from home until Friday (March 6).
It added that cleaning and sanitation processes would be carried out.
“At the same time, the company has identified employees who have come in close contact with the affected member, and they are currently undergoing screening tests at the hospital, ” said Felcra.
The Felcra board member's case is among the cases that were announced by the Health Ministry Tuesday (March 3).