Health DG: 601 foreigners test positive for Covid-19, three deaths recorded

PUTRAJAYA: A total of 601 foreigners have been tested positive for Covid-19, resulting in three deaths, says Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

“Of this, 356 cases are being treated, 242 patients have recovered while there were three deaths, ” he said at a press conference here on Friday (April 17).

He said the foreigners comprised 108 Indonesians, 104 Filipinos, 63 Bangladeshis, 60 Indians and 51 Pakistanis who were either migrant workers, tourists, asylum seekers or refugees.

He said Malaysian authorities took note of the recent situation in Singapore, where a spike in Covid-19 cases was due to the spread of the virus at foreign workers' dormitories.

“We must heed this situation, in view that Malaysia also has a lot of foreign workers.

“Steps must be taken to prevent the spread of the virus among foreigners, ” he said, noting that more than half of total infections in Singapore was due to the recent spike in cases among foreigners.

He said industries that rely on foreign workers are responsible to ensure that all health safety measures and guidelines are implemented at the workplace.

He added the ministry is also working with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers are included under the government's Covid-19 control and preventive measures.

On Malaysians returning from abroad, Dr Noor Hisham said that only 10 Malaysians tested positive out of the 15,000 placed under mandatory quarantine since returning to the country on April 3.

He said a large number of Malaysians quarantined have since been allowed to go home after testing negative twice for the virus while under quarantine.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hashim said the 14 cases from the cluster of nurses infected at the Likas Hospital in Sabah was not due to infections contracted at the hospital ward.

“Investigations indicated the infections may have been from one of the nurses attending a wedding ceremony in Ipoh before returning to Likas, and infecting her colleagues.

“They virus was not contracted at the hospital's wards but likely from narrow spaces in the hospital such as the pantry area where nurses and doctors gather for meals, ” he said.

On a cluster at a factory in Pasir Gudang, Johor, he said 10 cases were detected but it was not due to infection contracted at the factory.

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Dr Noor Hisham , foreign workers , Covid-19


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