KUALA LUMPUR: The recent Sabah state election appeared to have set off a string of new Covid-19 infections, with at least one minister and four assemblymen confirmed to be positive.
All five were among those actively campaigning on the ground during the state polls.
On Monday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri confirmed that he had tested positive for Covid-19.
This resulted in Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and several others, including ministers, having to undergo self-quarantine after all of them attended a meeting together on Oct 3.
They include Senior Ministers Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador.
The assemblymen confirmed to have tested positive are Datuk Amiruddin Yusof (Ayer Limau), Shatiri Mansor (Kota Damansara), Lim Yi Wei (Kampung Tunku) and Azman Nasrudin (Lunas).
During campaigning from Sept 12-25, several leaders such as Umno information chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan, Umno supreme council member Datuk Mohd Razlan Rafii, Barisan Nasional candidate for Pitas Sufian Abdul Karim and newly elected Sindumin assemblyman Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob also tested positive for Covid-19.
The number of cases is expected to rise in the coming days as more people, including politicians, media personnel and those involved in the campaigning, get their test results.
In Johor, Maharani assemblyman Nor Hayati Bachok confirmed that she had tested positive for Covid-19.
In a statement issued by her service centre, the Parti Amanah Negara national Wanita deputy chief said she returned from Sabah on Sept 26.
The first screening test came back negative.
“Even though there was no directive from the Health Ministry to self-quarantine, Nor Hayati took her own initiative to do so.
“She went for a second test on Sunday and continued self-isolating at home, ” the statement said.
The result of the second test, released on Monday, confirmed that she was positive.
“She has not attended any programmes since returning from Sabah. All of her close contacts have been identified by the Muar health office to undergo a Covid-19 test, ” the statement said.