Most Health Ministry staff contracted Covid-19 from wedding receptions, says Health D-G

Julia Chan
Health Director-General Datuk Noor Hisham Abdullah at a press conference in Putrajaya March 25, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — Most of the 73 Ministry of Health staff who tested positive for Covid-19 contracted the virus not from handling patients but from attending wedding events that were also attended by those who attended the Sri Petaling tabligh event.

The Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that based on their investigation, 47 cases, or 64.4 per cent of the 73 cases detected were connected by a wedding event on March 6 and 7, in Bangi and Putrajaya, respectively.

“Other sources of infection were traced to a history of travelling outside the country and coming into contact with family members of Covid-19 patients,” said Dr Noor Hisham during a press conference. 

“Based on our investigations, the source of their infection did not come from handling any Covid-19 patients at any of the ministry’s facilities.”

He said that 1,895 frontline ministry staff has been tested so far and 1,187 have tested negative while 708 cases are still pending. 

He added that the infected ministry staff are mostly from Teluk Intan Hospital with 37 cases, while others are from Putrajaya Hospital, Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital in Kota Baru, Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital  in Klang, and Selayang Hospital.

He called on all frontliners and health ministry staff to come forward and inform their heads of department if they have had any contact with those who either attended the tabligh in Sri Petaling on February 27 to March 3 or any of the two weddings.

Dr Noor Hisham had on Monday confirmed that a few medical staff at the Teluk Intan Hospital tested positive for Covid-19 after there was viral messages on social media claiming operations at HTI having collapsed when six of its medical staff tested positive for Covid-19.

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