Malaysia detects new Covid-19 cluster in Kuala Lumpur 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 STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian authorities have detected a new Covid-19 cluster in a restaurant linked to three confirmed cases in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said the first two cases were the restaurant's foreign workers, aged 26 and 27, who tested positive on Aug 16.

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

"The ministry then traced the close contacts of the two, which led us 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, " he said in a statement on Friday (Aug 21).

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

Datuk Dr Noor Hisham said a total of 672 individuals had been screened, including 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, adding that the three cases were among the nine new infections reported in Malaysia.

Three cases reported in Kedah were linked to the Tawar cluster, currently the biggest active Covid-19 cluster in the country, with a total of 2,733 individuals related to the cluster screened as of Friday.

The total number of cases in the cluster is now 58, spanning three generations. Most of the cases were found in Kedah, with 47 cases, followed by 11 cases in Penang.

So far, all patients related to the Tawar cluster are still under treatment.

The cluster had overtaken the Sivagangga cluster, which has 45 confirmed cases. Only 15 are active cases currently.

Dr Noor Hisham said there were also four imported cases involving non-Malaysians who arrived from the Philippines, Austria, Indonesia and India.

He said one local transmission case was detected in Sarawak after a foreigner tested positive during a screening meant for those exiting the country.

"The case had no symptoms and is currently being treated at the Sarawak General Hospital, " he said.