DG: Focus shifts to migrants


PETALING JAYA: The fight against Covid-19 is now focused on migrants as the bulk of new cases involved foreigners at Immigration detention centres and construction sites, says Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic).

From now on, all new detainees entering the Immigration detention centres will be screened for Covid-19.

Dr Noor Hisham said this new policy had been implemented not by the Health Ministry but by Immigration director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud.

He said this following a rise in Covid-19 cases at three Immigration detention centres in Bukit Jalil, Semenyih and Sepang.

“We will also provide screening for those who are involved in managing the detention centres.

“We have identified detention centres as a high-risk area, ” he said during his daily press briefing yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham said investigation into the source of infection at the detention centres was on-going.

“It is possible that the transmission is from those (who were detained) from the enhanced movement control order operation or employees who are providing cleaning services, ” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry was focusing not just on the Immigration detention centres but also prisons and other types of detention centre.

“This is important because we realised that if there is an outbreak in detention centres, this is what is expected to happen.

“We see that in the next couple of days there will be an increase of cases. So, what we have to do is to screen everyone and those positive, we will isolate them in the hospital and those negative will be quarantined for 14 days, ” he said.

Malaysia reported 187 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, with 173 of them involving foreigners, in which 155 cases were detected at the Bukit Jalil immigration detention centre and 13 cases from the Cheras security guard cluster. In contrast, there were only four local transmission cases involving Malaysians.

During the press conference, Dr Noor Hisham stated that three new Covid-19 clusters involving construction sites had been detected with 88 new cases.

He said the first cluster was at a construction site in Kuala Lumpur where 488 samples were collected and 31 tested positive.

In the second cluster, 91 samples were taken related to a construction site in Setia Alam and 13 tested positive.

The third cluster involved another construction site in Kuala Lumpur in which 350 samples were collected and 44 tested positive.

“These clusters were identified following the National Security Council’s directive that foreign workers in the construction industry, especially those in the red zones in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, have to be screened.

Dr Noor Hisham noted that as of May 26, a total of 27,383 construction workers had been screened for Covid-19 by their employers.

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