No sign of Covid-19 on Genting Dream liner so far, says health minister

Jerry Choong

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad says ongoing tests for Covid-19 on the passengers and crew of the MV Genting Dream cruise ship anchored in Port Klang were all negative so far. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — Ongoing tests for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on the passengers and crew of the MV Genting Dream cruise ship anchored in Port Klang were all negative so far, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said as of 3pm today, 350 of the the 957 passengers and 230 of the 1,701 crew members have been screened and cleared.

“So far they have been found asymptomatic, with screening and testing expected to continue until later tonight,” Dzulkefly said after officiating a mental wellness programme at the Dewan Tunku Canselor in Universiti Malaya.

Separately, Dzulkefly was asked if there is sufficient stock of influenza vaccine in the country, which he said is under the purview of the private medical sector.

“They are the ones responsible for importing it. But we will continue to monitor its distribution to ensure it is being done evenly and fairly,” he said.

The cruise ship arrived at the Boustead Cruise Centre in Port Klang around noon today, with passengers from 15 countries and crew members of 32 nationalities.

There are 276 Chinese nationals among the crew but neither they nor any of the passengers have been there in the past 14 days.

When it arrived at Port Klang, the local health authorities immediately began carrying out screenings.

Any passengers or crew members found with symptoms of Covid-19 will be sequestered at Boustead’s quarantine centre for further processing.

The vessel, originally plying the routes along Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, arrived from Singapore and is expected to return to the island republic by 11pm at the earliest.

In an updated statement tonight, the Health Ministry said a total of 678 out of 957 passengers and 445 out of 1,701 crew members aboard MV Genting Dream were screened for Covid-19 as at 10pm; all were found asymptomatic.

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