Health D-G: No single frontliner serving Covid-19, ICU wards infected yet

Azril Annuar
Health workers are seen at Menara City One during the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in Kuala Lumpur April 5, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) reiterated today that none of its medical personnel were infected with Covid-19 while treating patients of the disease, and those who were had got the infection from outside sources.

Its director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah told the ministry’s daily update that medical personnel who were infected by Covid-19 while on duty, have been due to dishonest patients who did not disclose their conditions or relations to the infected.

“There are 181 MOH frontliners who have been infected, with two deaths. The two deaths had travel history to Turkey and Indonesia and were not infected while they were on duty. Out of the 181, 67 per cent or 122 were infected outside of the hospital area.

“They attended weddings and other events. When they returned to the hospitals, they infected some of their colleagues. In total, there are 36 who were infected in hospitals, clinics or ICU,” he said.

“But these 36 were infected because they conducted medical procedures on patients who never disclosed, they had the symptoms or had close contact or relations with Covid-19 patients and the medical personnel did not have the proper PPE on.

“However, I would like to stress here that not a single frontliner serving the Covid-19 wards or ICU wards have been infected up till today,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

Furthermore, he added that the medical staff serving as frontliners also undergo periodic, scheduled screening.

The screening is not limited to government hospitals, but it is also extended to the private medical facilities handling Covid-19.

So far Putrajaya has screened more than 2,000 medical staff.

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