Fourth Covid-19 cluster identified in Malaysia's state of Kedah

A photo taken on May 29, 2020, shows security personnel checking temperatures of people entering a market in Penang. PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia has identified a new Covid-19 cluster in the state of Kedah, the country's health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement Saturday (Aug 15).

"The first case of this cluster (case 9148) is a Malaysian man who was identified as Covid-19 positive on August 13 via a clinical surveillance system for Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (Sari) at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Kedah.

"Active case and close contact detections were conducted on August 14 with positive cases found on August 15," he added.

According to Datuk Dr Noor Hisham, the three cases in the cluster identified on Saturday were all family relatives of the index case.

As of Aug 15, 80 close contacts of the patient have been screened with four testing positive.

The remaining 76 are still awaiting their results.

The new cluster is the fourth one reported in the state after the Sivagangga cluster first emerged early this month.

The index case of the Sivagangga cluster, a restaurant owner who had flouted a home quarantine order upon his return from abroad, was fined and jailed for five months.

The second cluster in Tawar, which was identified on Thursday, reported 12 more cases on Saturday, among which two were from in Penang.

The index case in the Tawar cluster is a Malaysian trader who had attended the memorial of a deceased family member.

The cluster has since spread to neighbouring state Penang.

"The number of cases linked to this cluster is now at 33. As many as 657 individuals have been screened.

"From that, 30 positive cases were found in Kedah and three in Penang. In Perak, eight have been screened, and their results are still pending," he said.

One additional case was found linked to the Muda cluster, which is the third cluster in Kedah. The index case in this cluster is a Malaysian police officer (patient 9,114).

Three tested positive so far, while 103 of the 133 individuals screened are still waiting for their results.

Malaysia recorded 26 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of positive cases in the country to 9,175. There was no new deaths recorded.

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