PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed receiving notification of a Covid-19 positive case involving a Pakistani barber yesterday.
Health director-general of Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the man, who works at a barbershop in the capital, had provided a house to house service at the request of clients in the area.
“Preliminary investigations found that the barbershop has not been operational since the beginning of the first phase of the MCO on March 18, but he continued to provide services at clients’ homes upon their request,” he said at a press conference here today.
He added that the man was found to be Covid-19 positive after his employer took him for a screening exercise.
The man is currently being treated at the Sungai Buloh Hospital but the source of the infection is yet to be determined.
Dr Noor Hisham said MOH had to date detected 40 close contacts of the patient, which involves 36 clients and four housemates, all of whom have undergone Covid-19 screenings and told to self-quarantine at home.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said there were more than 2,000 foreigners working as barbers in the country.
He said the ministry was also concerned about all the other sectors with foreign workers that had been allowed to operate, thus urging all parties to comply with all SOPs set by the government.
Commenting on the upcoming the Chini by-election, Dr Noor Hisham said the MOH and the relevant agencies would provide an SOP to enable even individuals with Covid-19 to go out and vote.
“We will see from the list of cases under quarantine or those who are being warded. But if there are patients who are in serious condition example, then they may not be allowed to leave the ward to vote,” he said.
Earlier, the Election Commission (EC) was reported to have allowed voters who were symptomatic of Covid-19 or quarantined due to the disease, to vote in the Chini by-election on July 4, subject to permission by the MOH.
EC chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun stressed that the commission would set up a special tent at each polling centre manned by staff wearing full sets of personal protective equipment (PPE).
The Chini state assembly area comes under the Pekan Parliamentary constituency, which has recorded 24 Covid-19 cases to date, including one in the former. All of the patients have recovered so far, with the last Covid-19 case reported in the constituency on May 13.
Meanwhile explaining further on the death of patient 119, Dr Noor Hisham said following the SOP outlined by the MOH, any patient brought in dead will be tested for Covid-19 before post mortem.
“This lady was brought in already dead to the hospital, and the swab was done and detected positive. We have also done the swab test on the patient’s next of kin,” he said.
On concerns over home quarantine for Malaysians arriving from overseas, he said this was in line with the procedure recommended by World Health Organisation (WHO).
“Quarantine at home means you come back and confine yourself to the room, and not getting in close contact with family members. We also advise the elderly to stay away from them,” he said, adding that MOH will hand out a protocol for Patients Under Surveillance to follow during the 14-days of quarantine at home.
Meanwhile, he said two clusters were declared closed today, namely the ones at the Jalan Othman Wet Market in Petaling Jaya and Benus in Pahang, making it 37 clusters that have ended in total. – Bernama