DG: Spike in workplace cluster

PUTRAJAYA: The number of workplace clusters saw a 125% increase during the last week of 2021, with 18 clusters reported, according to the Health Ministry.

During the epidemiological week 51 between Dec 19 and 25, eight workplace clusters were reported.

Overall, a total of 32 new clusters were reported for epidemiological week 52, of which 58% involved workplaces.

The rest were community clusters (five), imported (four), educational institutions (two) and one cluster each involving a high risk group, religious activity and detention centre.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the increase in imported clusters between week 51 and 52 were also significant – from one to four.

“The upward trend in workplace clusters shows that the compliance rate for standard operating procedure (SOP) is still low.

“This should not be the case as the public should be more aware of the importance of SOP in breaking the Covid-19 chain of infections,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said the number of infections during epidemiological week 52 saw an increase of 2.3% with 23,071 new cases recorded, pointing out that the country had earlier seen five weeks of decline in Covid-19 cases.

Between Dec 26 and Jan 1, the infectivity rate or R-nought (Rt) in Malaysia was 0.99.

Dr Noor Hisham said one Covid-19 case was reported among flood victims yesterday, bringing the number of those infected to 461.

The number of recoveries again outpaced new cases, with 3,535 people recovering from Covid-19 while new infections stood at 2,690 cases.

There were 300 imported cases of which 278 involved Malaysians.

Three new clusters were reported, but none involved flood evacuation centres. There are currently 206 active clusters.

Meanwhile in Kota Kinabalu, a new Covid-19 cluster triggered by a hotel employee in Sabah’s popular tourist hotspot on the foothills of Mount Kinabalu in Kundasang has recorded 40 cases so far.

Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the index case for the cluster, dubbed “Jalan Kem Bina”, involved a worker at a hotel in Kundasang who tested positive during symptomatic screening.

The close contact tracing detected another 39 people infected with the virus.

However, Masidi said Sabah’s new cases remained stable with 161 infections recorded yesterday, four cases lower then the 165 reported on Sunday.

He said 11 districts recorded single digit new cases and 10 others no new cases.

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