PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry discovered 56 positive cases from its Covid-19 screening activity before the start of Parliament, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The Health director-general said the 56 positive cases involved MPs as well as officers on duty during the special five-day Parliament sitting.
“All individuals who were invited to attend this Parliament session had to undergo Covid-19 screening between July 21 and 25, either at the Parliament complex, Putrajaya health centre or other government and private health facilities.
“During that period, a total of 2,093 individuals underwent screening.
“As at July 28, 56 Covid-19 positive cases have been detected from two MPs, six MP aides and 48 officers from various government agencies.
“The positivity rate is 2.7%. Of the 56 positive cases, 39 (69.6%) are those who are unvaccinated or have not completed their vaccination doses.
“Based on investigations and risk assessments carried out by the ministry, these positive cases have no epidemiology link to each other,” said Dr Noor Hisham in a statement yesterday.
Among the requirements for individuals to enter Parliament during this special sitting was to provide a copy of their negative Covid-19 test result.
Dr Noor Hisham said all the 56 individuals who tested positive were not allowed to attend this Parliament sitting, and are currently under isolation and receiving treatment.
He added that the ministry also detected four more positive Covid-19 cases through contact tracing.
“All four of these close contacts have not attended the Parliament sitting since the first day it has been in session, and they are under the ministry’s care,” said Dr Noor Hisham, who added that as at July 28, 104 individuals who attended Parliament had also taken RTK-Ag self-tests provided on site, with all testing negative.
MOH had set up a booth at Parliament to help individuals undergo a rapid self-test if they find themselves developing symptoms.
“Investigations will be conducted if there are any Covid-19 positive cases detected among individuals attending Parliament to find the source of the infections.
“Besides that, risk assessment will also be conducted to find out whether there is an outbreak in Parliament, and whether there is a need for temporary closure to carry out preventive and control measures.
“Based on risk assessment conducted by the health team in Parliament, no Covid-19 outbreaks have been detected.
“However, monitoring and risk assessment will continue until the end of the Parliament sitting,” said Dr Noor Hisham, who added that MOH had earlier proposed that the Parliament special sitting be shorter.
“This matter was proposed during a special meeting on the coordination of Dewan Rakyat, which was held at 8am on July 26.
“The ministry then had recommended that the number of physical attendees in Parliament be reduced, taking into account the current Covid-19 pandemic situation in Malaysia and the results of the pre-Parliament screening.”