No Covid-19 detected in samples taken by Health Ministry

Health matters: Dr Noor Hisham said all cases that tested positive for Covid-19 were linked with travel history. — Bernama

PUTRAJAYA: No sporadic Covid-19 cases have been detected in the community from samples taken by the Health Ministry since Feb 12, indicating that it has not gone into the community, it was announced.

All cases currently tested positive were all linked to travel history and close contacts of Covid-19 patients, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said the ministry has been carrying out Covid-19 surveillance to identify sporadic cases locally on patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) which did not have links to travel history to countries affected by the Covid-19 or contact with any positive Covid-19 case.“Up to Monday, 574 samples have been taken from those patients and none of the samples tested positive for Covid-19.

“Based on the information, currently there were no sporadic Covid-19 cases detected through the surveillance, ” he told reporters on the Covid-19 update yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry planned to start doing the tests in private hospitals too to see if Covid-19 has spread in the community.

To prevent overcrowding in public hospitals for Covid-19 tests, the ministry also collaborated with the private sector for doctors to go to homes to collect samples of patients who have concerns about being infected with Covid-19.

The ministry has trained them on how to get the sample but the patient will have to pay for the service, he added.

The test cost about RM700 but the travel costs will depend on the distance, said Dr Noor Hisham in an earlier engagement meeting with the media.

The screening programme can be accessed through the DoctorOnCall Health Advisory platform, which is available on the ministry website.

Dr Noor Hisham said public hospitals were swarmed by people wanting to be tested and many were doing it out of fear and did not meet the criteria of people under investigation (PUI).

He said that for this reason, they could call the national CPRC infoline 03-88810200/03-88810600/03-88810700 to find out if they actually need to be screened.

Dr Noor Hisham said besides good hygiene practice, people were advised to postpone their travel overseas, especially to provinces or cities declared to have Covid-19 in China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran.

Meanwhile, another 18 new Covid-19 cases have been reported in Malaysia, up to noon yesterday, making it a total of 117 cases. One of the patients had just returned from Iran.

Dr Noor Hisham said all of the 18 new cases have been identified and separated for further treatment.

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