Malaysian PM Muhyiddin in quarantine after officer tests positive for coronavirus

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin tested negative for Covid-19.
Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin tested negative for Covid-19.PHOTO: AFP/MALAYSIA'S DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will self-quarantine at home for 14 days from Friday (May 22) after an officer at a post-Cabinet meeting he chaired tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Prime Minister's Office, in a statement issued on Friday, said that Tan Sri Muhyiddin tested negative for Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

Everyone who was present at the post-Cabinet meeting on Thursday has been ordered to undergo testing for the coronavirus and to self-quarantine at home for 14 days.

"Every meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office practises social distancing and stringent health measures at all times," the Prime Minister’s Office said.

It is not known if other ministers were also at the meeting.

Mr Muhyiddin had a close brush with the virus before, in early March, when a member of his newly-formed coalition Perikatan Nasional came into contact with a Covid-19 patient.

Scores of supporters from the coalition had at the time crowded into Mr Muhyiddin’s home to congratulate him after he was named the next prime minister by the King.

Two weeks later the country imposed movement controls, following a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 cases. Schools and non-essential businesses were shut, with people largely confined to their homes.


These controls were eased in early May, with most businesses allowed to reopen and people returning to work.

Schools, however, remain shut and large social gatherings are still banned.

Parliament sat for one day on Monday, with the King, MPs and Parliament staff wearing masks and practising social distancing, after being screened for the virus beforehand.

Malaysia reported 78 new coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the tally to 7,137 cases. One new fatality was reported, raising the death toll to 115.  There are currently 1,163 active cases being treated at the country’s health facilities.