Malaysia detects new cluster with 3 cases linked to KL restaurant

A man crosses a street in front of Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 11, 2020.
A man crosses a street in front of Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 11, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

PUTRAJAYA • The Malaysian authorities have detected a new Covid-19 cluster at a restaurant linked to three confirmed cases in the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Health Ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said the first two cases were employees of the restaurant - two foreign workers, aged 26 and 27, who tested positive last Sunday.

"The two cases were detected from random screening conducted on eateries located around Kuala Lumpur's city centre."

The ministry then traced the two workers' close contacts, which led to a 42-year-old Malaysian woman who was a customer of the restaurant.

"She had symptoms of sore throat and headache since Aug 17 and was admitted to the Sungai Buloh Hospital," Tan Sri Noor Hisham said in a statement on Friday.

The cluster is now identified as the Titiwangsa cluster after the area where the restaurant is located.

Dr Noor Hisham said a total of 672 individuals had been screened, comprising 16 employees and 656 customers.

"So far, only the three cases are positive infections linked to this cluster, while another 669 individuals have tested negative.

"Active case detection and close contact tracing are still ongoing," he said.

Three new cases in Kedah were linked to the Tawar cluster, currently the biggest active Covid-19 cluster in the country. So far, all patients linked to the Tawar cluster are still under treatment.

To date, there have been 63 positive Covid-19 cases from this cluster, with 52 in Kedah and 11 in Penang.

The Tawar cluster had overtaken the Sivagangga cluster, which started in Kedah and has 45 confirmed cases. Only 15 are active cases now.

Meanwhile, Malaysia yesterday recorded eight new Covid-19 cases, bringing the cumulative total to 9,257.

Out of the eight new cases, said Dr Noor Hisham, three were imported while the rest were local transmissions.

The imported cases involve one Malaysian and two foreigners.

In the local transmission cases, Dr Noor Hisham said all five were from the Tawar cluster.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 23, 2020, with the headline 'Malaysia detects new cluster with 3 cases linked to KL restaurant'. Subscribe