Kedah mulls extra measures to contain virus spread


Not the usual test: Students waiting to be screened for Covid-19 at Hospital Alor Setar (Hospital Lama) at Lebuhraya Darulaman.

ALOR SETAR: The state government has urged the public to remain vigilant and continue to take preventive health measures in light of the rise in Covid-19 cases in the state.

Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said about 200 hospital staff and those in close contact at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital have been quarantined and aid has been given to affected victims.

‘’The state health department screened more than 600 people connected to the Sungai and Telaga clusters, ” he said yesterday.

Kedah health committee chairman Datuk Dr Mohd Hayati Othman said the state government would recommend several extra measures to the Health Ministry to contain the spread of the virus.

“While we understand that the ultimate decision lies with the ministry, we are nevertheless of the opinion that every extra measure would help, ” he said.

Kedah is seeing a surge in Covid-19 cases with 16 new cases reported yesterday, mainly from the Sungai cluster.

The cluster, which originated from a 39-year-old healthcare worker at a private medical centre, saw more hospital staff and their family members being infected with the virus.

Kedah Medical Centre (KMC) has been closed from yesterday until Sept 11 for sanitisation.

KMC medical director Datuk Dr Kamaruzzaman Ali said the three-day closure would allow time for them to conduct thorough cleaning.

“The hospital’s accident and emergency services will remain open to cater to casualty/emergency cases.

“Patients who require further treatment will be referred to KPJ Penang or KPJ Perlis Specialist Hospitals, ” he said in a statement.

Dr Kamaruzzaman said that a total of 18 staff members of KMC and seven of their family members had been identified as Covid-19 positive.

As of Tuesday, all KMC’s 619 employees including consultants had been screened.

Dr Kamaruzzaman said environmental swabs would be conducted in 50 areas of the hospital and all areas visited by the staff and patients had been promptly disinfected in accordance to the stringent infection control guidelines by the Health Ministry.

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