PUTRAJAYA: A total of 12 of 15 new Covid-19 cases in Malaysia are related to the Pedas cluster in Negri Sembilan. Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the cluster, which is linked to a chicken factory in Pedas, Rembau, had contributed to 316 cases since May.
“A total of 957 individuals related to the cluster, comprising 844 close contacts and 113 family members, have been screened.
“Of the 316 positive cases, 14 are Malaysians while the others are from Nepal (163 cases), Bangladesh (67), Myanmar (35), Indonesia (31), India (four), Vietnam (one) and Cambodia (one), ” he said at a press conference here yesterday.
This cluster originated from Malaysian workers before foreign workers there were infected.
He said all workers under this cluster had been quarantined so that they would not pose a risk to the public.
“Today’s (yesterday) 12 new cases were detected from the fifth testing conducted on those who are under quarantine.
“Most importantly, this cluster is under control and we hope we can end it as soon as possible, ” he said.
So far, 252 patients under this cluster have recovered, which means there are 64 active cases still under treatment.
Besides the 12 Pedas cases, one other locally transmitted case was detected at the Selayang Hospital from a pre-surgical screening.
The other two cases are imported ones involving Malaysians who had returned from Tunisia and Singapore.
Dr Noor Hisham announced that another 21 patients had been discharged, which means 8,177 or 95.2% had recovered from the virus so far.
There are no new deaths, keeping the country’s death toll at 121.
At present, the country has 289 active cases with only three people under intensive care.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry was still investigating the cause of death of a 67-year-old Indian national under the custody of the Immigration Department.
He said the man had been treated for Covid-19 at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang before he was discharged.
Zeawdeen Kadar Masdar died at the Bukit Jalil Immigration Detention Centre after being found unconscious on June 12. He was the country’s 121st death of Covid-19.
Dr Noor Hisham said that while the man showed no symptoms while being treated, he however had comorbidities such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
“After monitoring for a certain period, he was discharged because he did not display any symptoms and had recovered, ” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said a post-mortem revealed side effects of lung inflammation in the man.
“Maybe there are other factors that caused his death, like a germ infection.
“We have taken swabs for bacteria and are waiting for the lab results, ” he said.
On another matter, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry had stopped conducting trials using hydroxychloroquine on Covid-19 patients in the country, after the medicine did not result in a significant difference on them.
The medicine, which has been used to treat malaria for more than 40 years, was part of a trial as it relieved inflammation.
“When we reviewed the data of about 500 cases, it was revealed that there were no positive effects.
“The statistics didn’t show its effectiveness. When there is no effectiveness, we stopped using it, ” he said.
The World Health Organisation had in May halted trials of the drug for Covid-19 treatment under the global Solidarity Trial that Malaysia is also part of.
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