Wednesday, 21 Oct 2020

Malaysian PM Muhyiddin quarantines at home after having contact with minister who has Covid-19

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) – Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday (Oct 5) said he will self-quarantine for 14 days after a minister who attended a high-level government meeting to discuss coronavirus developments on Saturday tested positive for Covid-19.

The South-east Asian country has seen a steady climb in cases in the past week in the aftermath of an election in the state of Sabah in Borneo on Sept 26.

The authorities in Malaysia have warned that coronavirus restrictions may have to be re-imposed if the trend continues, amid popular anger towards politicians who have been blamed for the spike.

In a statement, Tan Sri Muhyiddin confirmed that de facto Religious Affairs MinisterZulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri had tested positive, and that those identified as close contacts at Saturday’s National Security Council meeting to discuss Covid-19 had been issued a 14-day home surveillance order starting Oct 3.

“Pursuant to that, I will undergo self-quarantine at my home for 14 days as advised by the health ministry,” Mr Muhyiddin said.

“However, this will not interrupt government business. I will continue to work from home and use video conferencing to conduct meetings as necessary.”

In an earlier statement, the health ministry said contact tracing had been carried out, including symptom screening and collection of swabs to detect Covid-19 infections.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli confirmed that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was now undergoing treatment.

In a separate statement, the health ministry on Monday reported 432 new daily cases – 429 local transmissions and three imported cases – setting a new record since the country started tracking the pandemic.

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