No Covid-19 outbreak in Malaysian Parliament, says health chief; 17,170 new cases reported

Malaysia's health ministry had proposed the current Parliament sitting be held for a shorter period due to the Covid-19 outbreak. PHOTO: AFP

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia recorded 17,170 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday (July 29), the Health Ministry has confirmed, its second-highest daily tally.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a tweet that the country's total cumulative cases have now reached 1,078,646.

Selangor remained the state with the most cases, recording 7,163 new infections.

The country had recorded its highest ever tally of 17,405 new infections a day earlier.

As Malaysia's coronavirus woes show few signs of subsiding, the country's leaders have been battling a political crisis in a special sitting of Parliament.

The health ministry said on Thursday no Covid-19 outbreak has been detected during Malaysia's current Parliament sitting.

Dr Noor Hisham said the 56 positive cases found among MPs and officers were detected from screenings held before the start of the sitting.

"All individuals invited to attend this Parliament session had to undergo Covid-19 screening between July 21 and 25, either at the Parliament House complex, Putrajaya health centre or other government and private health facilities.

"During that period, a total of 2,093 individuals underwent Covid-19 screening.

"As of July 28, 56 positive cases have been detected involving two MPs, six MP aides and 48 officers from various government agencies.

"The positivity rate is 2.7 per cent. Of the 56 positive cases, 39 (or 69.6 per cent) are unvaccinated or have not completed their vaccination doses.

"Based on investigations and risk assessments carried out by the ministry, these positive cases have no epidemiological link to each other," he said in a statement on Thursday.

Dr Noor Hisham said all the 56 individuals were not allowed to attend this Parliament sitting as they are under isolation and receiving treatment.

Through contact tracing, the ministry also detected four more positive cases.

"All four close contacts have not attended the sitting since the first day and they are under the ministry's care," he added.

Dr Noor Hisham also said the ministry had proposed on Monday that this special Parliament sitting be held for a shorter period because of the pandemic.

"This was to prevent an outbreak during the sitting and was proposed during a special meeting on the coordination of Dewan Rakyat at 8am on July 26," he added.

Dr Noor Hisham said 104 individuals who attended Parliament had taken Antigen Rapid Test Kit self-tests provided on-site, and all had tested negative.

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