MPs ask: Why is Tourism Minister in the House when her agency officer tested positive for Covid-19?

KUALA LUMPUR: Several lawmakers have raised concerns on why the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister was present in the House after news that an officer for one of the agencies under the ministry tested positive for Covid-19.

Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik (PH-Balik Pulau) said that everyone in the ministry, including the Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, should be placed under self-quarantine following news that an officer in Tourism Malaysia tested positive for Covid-19.

"There was a circular that says all staff at the ministry should be under self-quarantine, this should include the Minister who should not be present here in the House," said Bakhtiar.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun then said he was told that Nancy had tested negative.

"I was told that the Minister was tested in a private hospital and there is a media statement on the matter," said Azhar.

However, other MPs pointed out that the incubation period for the virus is 14 days, hence the Minister should also follow the standard operating procedure (SOP).

Former health minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PH-Kuala Selangor) said a negative test result does not mean the Minister should be allowed to be present in the House as she needs to observe the quarantine.

To this, Azhar said he will check on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Ministry, in a statement, said a contact tracing investigation found that Nancy isn't and did not have any direct contact with the officer who tested positive for Covid-19.

The Ministry said this was also verified by the Health Ministry.

"The Minister has taken proactive action and underwent a swab test at 5.15pm on Wednesday (Nov 25), which came out negative.

"As a precautionary measure, she will undergo another test today (Thursday, Nov 26)," said the Ministry.

It added that the Ministry's building in Putrajaya was sanitised on Wednesday night and all officers and staff on duty were ordered to work from home beginning today (Nov 26) and to undergo self-quarantine.

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