The newly formed governing coalition in Malaysia faced a Covid-19 scare yesterday after it emerged that one of those who gathered at new Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's home over the weekend had come into contact with a confirmed patient.
Mr Redzuan Yusof, the entrepreneur development minister in the collapsed Pakatan Harapan government who defected to the new coalition, had attended a ministry function last Thursday with a senior member of sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, who was later confirmed to have the virus.
Mr Redzuan told Bernama yesterday that he tested negative for the virus though he will remain in self-quarantine at home.
Meanwhile, Malaysia's Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah said none of the tests done so far on contacts of the patient has turned up positive.
"We will continue to trace the contacts," he said.
There were concerns through much of yesterday that Tan Sri Muhyiddin and a host of potential ministers of the new Perikatan Nasional coalition might have been exposed to the virus.
Party leaders from the newly formed coalition had crowded into Mr Muhyiddin's home on Saturday, to congratulate him after he was named the next prime minister of Malaysia by the King.
A video circulating online of the scene at Mr Muhyiddin's home shows many of those present hugging one another as they emerged victorious from a week of political chaos.
Mr Muhyiddin was sworn in by the King at the palace a day later.
The patient, Case 26, is understood to be Mr Hisham Hamdan, an executive director of Khazanah and chairman of urban development agency UDA Holdings.
Following the discovery, the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Medac) conducted medical checks on its senior officers.
The Health Ministry later advised Medac's secretary-general Wan Suraya Wan Mohd Radzi and two other senior officers to be quarantined for 14 days.
The dinner at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur was an appreciation event for those leaving the ministry following the dissolution of the Pakatan Harapan government.
Dr Hatta Ramli, a former deputy minister from Medac, who also attended the function, confirmed yesterday that he tested negative for the coronavirus.
In a statement on Sunday, the Health Ministry said Case 26 had travelled to Shanghai in the middle of January. He developed a fever and sore throat last Thursday before he tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday.
He has been admitted to the Sungai Buloh Hospital isolation ward.
Khazanah confirmed that one of its employees has been infected by the coronavirus.
Malaysia had announced on Sunday four new coronavirus cases in the country, bringing the total to 29. Of these, 15 were Chinese nationals, 11 were Malaysians and three were of other nationalities.
To date, 22 patients have fully recovered and have been discharged, while seven are receiving treatment in several hospitals in the Klang Valley. They are in stable condition.