Chief minister urges Penangites to stay home, warns 90pc Covid-19 cases asymptomatic

Opalyn Mok
·3-min read
Quoting data obtained from the Health Ministry, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said there must be a focus on curbing the spread of the virus within the community.  — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Quoting data obtained from the Health Ministry, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said there must be a focus on curbing the spread of the virus within the community. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 16 — About 90.3 per cent of Covid-19 patients recorded between January 1 and February 12 did not display any symptoms, said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

Quoting data obtained from the Health Ministry, he said there must be a focus on curbing the spread of the virus within the community, especially when sporadic spread within the community is now at 70 per cent and involves all ages.

“As of February 15, the R-naught (Rt) for the whole country is at 0.88 and Penang is at 1.01 which is still high,” he said in a statement after attending the virtual meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) as chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today.

Chow said it was decided during the meeting that the movement control order (MCO) for Penang, which was to end on February 18, will be extended.

“This decision was made based on data and facts presented by the Health Ministry,” he said.

He said all five districts of the state are still in the red zone, with two new clusters detected: The Persiaran Mutiara Construction Site cluster and the Jalan Baru cluster.

He added that the manufacturing sector has recorded the highest number of clusters followed by the construction, services, public service, retail and education sectors.

“We still need the commitment of everyone in Penang to continue adhering to the SOPs strictly,” he said.

Between February 1 and 13, the Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) in Penang recorded a total of 1,068 Covid-19 cases. Of this number, 766 cases or 71.7 per cent comprise locals, while the remaining 302 cases or 28.3 per cent are foreigners.

The cases are from the Mayang Pasir cluster (256 cases), Beringin cluster (271 cases), Valdor construction site cluster (84 cases), Seberang Perai Prison cluster (19 cases), screening at workplaces (126 cases), close contacts (133 cases) and other pre-surgery and screening tests for those with symptoms (179 cases).

Overall, Chow said a total of 8,953 Covid-19 screening tests were conducted at various health facilities under the state Health Department during that period.

“The majority of screening tests focused on close contacts with positive cases, workplaces in the manufacturing sector and construction sites, and also those with symptoms,” he said.

As for the screening of foreign workers in both the manufacturing and construction sectors — either under the Perkeso Prihatin Screening Programme or through the employers’ own initiative — a total of 51,002 workers have been screened as of February 15.

“We are still awaiting a response from the Health Ministry regarding the Penang branch of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers’ (FMM) proposal to conduct mass testing for all workers,” he said.

Chow reminded everyone in Penang to remain vigilant about adhering to the SOPs and to stay home as much as possible as the virus is already within the community.

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