Dr Noor Hisham: 1 Utama mall cluster in Selangor at sixth-generation infection

Yiswaree Palansamy
·2-min read
A deserted One Utama shopping complex during CMCO, October 19, 2020. Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today said that though the mall has been sanitised and cleaned, the first generation infectants who were in the mall, had already spread out. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
A deserted One Utama shopping complex during CMCO, October 19, 2020. Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today said that though the mall has been sanitised and cleaned, the first generation infectants who were in the mall, had already spread out. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that the 1 Utama mall cluster in Selangor, has crossed into sixth-generation infection.

Speaking at his daily press briefing in Putrajaya, the director-general of the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that though the mall has been sanitised and cleaned, the first generation infectants who were in the mall, had already spread out.

“So we look into the mall for example. The infection may have started in the mall and we identified a few of the workers in the mall who were positive. So what we did is shut down for one week and we discussed with the management of the mall. So what we did was a clean up of the mall and screening of all the workers. Rest assured the mall has already been cleared.

“But when you get the infection in the mall, then you return to your home, then you start to infect your family, your friends and etc now the infection has actually involved into six generations.

“Those who were in the mall, are probably first-generation, but those coming back home and infecting others, it’s already leading to six generations,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham, however, added that infection cases in Selangor were swiftly identified, thanks to contact tracing app MySejahtera.

“But the good thing about the infection (cases) in Selangor is that 90 per cent of the infection, we know the cluster. So we know the cluster using MySejahtera, we can trace them. Whether they are in Selangor or even out of Selangor,” he said, stressing on the importance of using contract tracing applications.

He also called for stronger working collaboration between state agencies and the federal government.

“Work with our state health departments and see how we can coordinate the activities rather than working in silos.

“If we collaborate at the state level, I am sure our state health departments would be more than happy to cooperate with state administration to look into how we can resolve the issue,” he added.

Last week, MOH announced 105 new Covid-19 cases from the Utama cluster that involved the 1 Utama Shopping Mall in Petaling Jaya.

This brought the total of the positive cases from the cluster to 132 ― with one reported in Melaka and the rest in Selangor.

From the 132 positive Covid-19 cases detected, 87 were security personnel, 18 cleaning workers, 16 employees at mall premises, six mall patrons, and five family members of patient #12,549 who was initially thought to be the index case.

Dr Noor Hisham also clarified that the ministry had identified case #15,023 as the index case of the cluster in question.

He said that the index case for this cluster is a 28-year-old male citizen of Nepal who is a “security personnel in one of the shopping malls in the Petaling district.”