PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry is working closely with the police to enhance contact tracing in the country, says Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The Health director-general said they were collaborating with the police to do contact tracing – not just for the tabligh cluster, but also their next-of-kin and close contacts.
He said it was imperative to rely on the expertise of the police to do contact tracing.
"The information we have is there are 40,000 (people)," he said during a press conference on Saturday (April 4).
He noted that the patients under investigation (PUI) were close contacts who had exposure to index cases.
Earlier, it was reported that the police had received a chain of Covid-19 infections involving 40,000 individuals, including those linked to the tabligh cluster from the Health Ministry.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador had said that the data had been analysed by a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) task force to identify those who were most likely to be infected.
Dr Noor Hisham also noted that there are still about 3,000 people from the tabligh cluster who have not been screened.
"We believe that some of them are not in the country (and are in) Indonesia or have gone abroad to India or other countries. We are trying to trace them as best as we can," he said.
"We are not only looking at index cases but also their family members and close contacts – within one month, the transmission went from the first generation to the fifth.
"There are two groups at risk – family members of the positive case and secondly, healthcare workers," he said.
Dr Noor Hisham added that healthcare workers are now told to treat those with a cough and cold or pneumonia symptoms as Covid-19 patients until proven otherwise.