New ‘Ara cluster’ detected in Penang


PETALING JAYA: A new Covid-19 cluster has been detected in Penang after a man tested positive for the virus in Sandakan and investigations revealed that he had infected his seven-year-old niece in Penang.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the new infections, dubbed the Ara cluster, started from a 44-year-old man who tested positive after arriving at the Sandakan Airport on Sept 15.

“Following that, contact tracing was carried out and one positive Covid-19 case was identified.

“This positive case is a relative of the index case.

“The patient tested positive on Sept 19 and is now receiving treatment at Hospital Pulau Pinang, ” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said that so far, 16 people had been screened, whereby 14 tested negative and two (the index case and his relative) were positive.

“The cause for the transmission is still being investigated, ” he said.

A city on watch: Under an overcast sky, downtown Alor Setar appears deserted on Day 10 of the enhanced movement control order imposed on Kota Setar district, as most people continue to stay home. — BernamaA city on watch: Under an overcast sky, downtown Alor Setar appears deserted on Day 10 of the enhanced movement control order imposed on Kota Setar district, as most people continue to stay home. — Bernama

Dr Noor Hisham also said that Malaysia recorded 52 new cases yesterday, of which 40 were local transmissions and 12 imported.

Out of the 40 local cases, Sabah recorded the highest number of new infections at 36, with the Benteng Lahad Datu cluster alone having 27 new cases.

The Selamat cluster in Semporna recorded two new cases while the Pulau cluster in Kunak and Bakau cluster in Semporna respectively had one new case each.

The remaining cases in Sabah included another infection in Semporna, three cases at Hospital Lahad Datu and another case detected during a pre-work screening.

There were also three cases detected from a community screening in Kedah at the enhanced movement control order area and one case from the Ara cluster.

Meanwhile, the 12 imported cases involved three Malaysians and nine non-citizens and were of infections that happened in India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Yemen and Russia.

Dr Noor Hisham said there were no Covid-19-related deaths reported, keeping the death toll at 130 or 1.27% out of the total number of cases.

He also said that 40 patients had recovered with a total of 9,355 patients or 91.6% out of the overall number of cases discharged since the outbreak began.

There are currently 734 active cases being treated at the country’s health facilities, with 10 patients in intensive care unit with two of them requiring ventilator support.

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