New cases linked to Patient 26

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has recorded 14 new Covid-19 cases – all linked to the country’s 26th patient, a UDA Holdings Bhd board member who had been to Shanghai.

In total, there are 21 cases linked to the patient, who, despite the numbers, is still not considered by the Health Ministry as a “super spreader”.

The latest brought the total number of patients diagnosed with the disease in the country to 50.

All of the 14 confirmed cases were found to have been in close contact with Patient 26.

This is in addition to the seven positive cases announced on Monday, which are all linked to the same patient.

All new patients are Malaysian.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry has traced 215 individuals who have been in close contact with Patient 26.

Safety measure: Felcra Bhd said it had instructed workers based at its headquarters to work from home until tomorrow. — BernamaSafety measure: Felcra Bhd said it had instructed workers based at its headquarters to work from home until tomorrow. — Bernama

“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.

Dr Noor Hisham said another five new positive cases have no relation to Case 26, but have gotten the coronavirus from friends, family members and colleagues who are close contacts of Patient 26.

He said the patients who were infected by Case 26 were in several meetings attended by the patient from Feb 21 to 27.

“Investigation on 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.

Asked if Patient 26 can be considered a “super spreader”, Dr Noor Hisham said no.

“I won’t call him a super spreader. There is one case in South Korea where one patient infected more than 1,000 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 ministry’s ground staff, ” he said.

On claims that several companies have ordered their offices to be shut following suspected Covid-19 cases, Dr Noor Hisham said such a move at this point was not necessary.

“The ministry would like to advise these organisations not to close off their offices. Disinfection of the building is sufficient enough.

“But if offices want to do so, we cannot stop them, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.

The ministry, he added, will not publicly reveal identities of Covid-19-positive patients.

“We will only reveal their age and gender to the public. The ministry will do the necessary and contact all close contacts of Covid-19 patients, ” he explained.

Case 26 is a 52-year-old with a travel history to Shanghai. After his trip to the Chinese city in January, he began developing symptoms such as cough and sore throat on Feb 27.

After seeking treatment at a private hospital, he tested positive for Covid-19 on Feb 29 and was immediately admitted to an isolation ward in Sungai Buloh Hospital.

In a statement yesterday, Felcra Bhd said it had instructed workers based at its headquarters to work from home until tomorrow.

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, adding that all activities and operations at its headquarters had been stopped immediately from yesterday until tomorrow.

The Felcra board member’s case was among those announced by the ministry on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong expressed his appreciation to the health officials who are in the frontline of the Covid-19 containment.

“For the rest of us, always look after your cleanliness and wash your hands frequently.

“We will fight the spread of Covid-19 together, ” he wrote on his Facebook page.

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