Malaysian minister Mustapa Mohamed tests positive for Covid-19

Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Minister Mustapa Mohamed was admitted to a hospital on Saturday night, but remains in stable condition.
Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Minister Mustapa Mohamed was admitted to a hospital on Saturday night, but remains in stable condition.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Minister Mustapa Mohamed has tested positive for the coronavirus and is in stable condition, his office said on Sunday (Jan 10).

He tested positive following a Covid-19 test last Saturday morning, three days after he attended a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) meeting at which Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and several other Cabinet members were present.

The Malay Mail reported that Datuk Seri Mustapa also attended a Cabinet meeting that Wednesday.

Bersatu information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan said all those who attended the party meeting will undergo Covid-19 tests.

Mr Mustapa got tested in Kota Baru in his home state of Kelantan after travelling from the capital Kuala Lumpur, his office said.

“Datuk Seri Mustapa apologises for all the difficulties that arise from this matter,” his office said, without disclosing the source of his infection.

The Health Ministry said yesterday that it was tracing his close contacts. 

Mr Mustapa, who is also a former trade minister and the MP for Jeli ward in Kelantan, tested negative during a previous test taken on Jan 1.

He is the second member of Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s Cabinet to test positive for the virus, after Religious Affairs Minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri in October last year.

Mr Mustapa’s positive test comes as cases continue to soar in Malaysia in its current third wave of the pandemic, which started in September last year.

Last month, two other members of Mr Muhyiddin’s Cabinet- Health Minister Adham Baba and Human Resources Minister Saravanan Murugan - had to be isolated after coming into close contact with a Covid-19 patient. 

The government is due to announce tighter health protocols just one month after it reopened most of the country’s economy, as it hit an all-time high of 3,027 new cases last Thursday.

Malaysia has recorded 80 deaths from the virus in the first 10 days of this year. As at  Sunday it has reported a total of 135,992 Covid-19 cases, and 551 deaths.

The country has purchased 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The first batch is not due to arrive until February.