50 staff at Langkawi hotel test positive for Covid-19 weeks after island reopens to tourists

This comes after the resort island opened on Sept 16, 2021, to vaccinated domestic holidaymakers from the mainland. PHOTO: AFP

LANGKAWI (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A popular hotel in the Malaysian resort island of Langkawi was ordered to close temporarily after more than 50 of its staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Kedah state health director Othman Warijo said the infection was categorised under workplace clusters known as Dah Teluk Nibung involving hotel staff.

"From our investigations, the infection originated from the community and spread to the hotel," he said when contacted.

This comes after the island opened on Sept 16 to vaccinated domestic holidaymakers from the mainland.

Dr Othman said a total of 249 individuals involving hotel staff and their families underwent screening, where 59 of them were found to be positive and 192 tested negative.

He said three individuals are still waiting for the results of the test, and added that in an effort to prevent another wave of infection, the state health department had identified and screened all close contacts from the cluster.

Dr Othman said all close contacts have been placed under a Home Surveillance Order for ten days.

"So far, we managed to control and contain the transmission of the virus," he said.

Meanwhile, about 21 staff at another popular hotel in George Town, Penang, are believed to be down with Covid-19.

Penang Health Committee chairman Norlela Ariffin said initial investigations by the health authority found that the staff were infected with the virus.

"From our investigations, the infection was among hotel staff, and we are still tracing the origin of the infections," she said when contacted.

It was learnt that the hotel will be asked by the authorities to close temporarily and the staff affected have been ordered to be quarantined.

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