‘Relook detention protocols’

PETALING JAYA: The protocol to locate illegal foreigners at Immigration detention centres may need a relook as 270 new cases of Covid-19 were reported at the Bukit Jalil depot.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the new cases were detected after repeat tests were carried out on the detainees.

He said it was possible that the virus was in its incubation period when the first test was conducted on detainees before they were placed at the centre.

“Once they were placed in the centre, they could then infect others. The issue is also the crammed cells. If one case is positive, then definitely it would amplify the infection in a confined space.

“At the moment, the spread may be related to confined and congested areas,” he said in his daily press briefing yesterday.

Altogether, a total of 608 cases have been detected at the Bukit Jalil Immigration centre, with 606 of them still classified as active cases.

Another 66 cases, 60 cases, and two cases have been identified at the Semenyih, Sepang and Putrajaya detention centres respectively.

Besides the new cases at the Bukit Jalil depot, there were seven other cases recorded, bringing the total number of infections in Malaysia to 8,247 cases. Of the seven cases, two were imported while the rest were local transmissions.

There was no Covid-19 death for the 13th consecutive day and the death toll remains at 115.

Dr Noor Hisham said 28 patients had recovered in the last 24 hours with a total of 6,559 patients discharged since the Covid-19 outbreak began, or at a 79.5% recovery rate.

There are currently 1,573 active cases being treated in the country’s health facilities with six patients being treated at the intensive care unit and two on ventilator support.

He said a committee had been tasked to review the protocol on placing detainees in the centres.

“There is a need to look at the foreign workers’ issue holistically, requiring a whole government and whole society approach,” he said.

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