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From Russia with Covid-19: New ‘Novgorod cluster’ detected

  • July 13, 2020

PETALING JAYA: A new Covid-19 cluster has been detected in Melaka, says Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic).

Dr Noor Hisham said that three cases have been detected in the “Novgorod cluster”, with the first case being a Malaysian who returned from Russia on July 5.

He was found to be positive when screened during entry into Malaysia and was then admitted into the Sungai Buloh Hospital.

The second case was that of a friend of the first case who had boarded the same flight from Russia.

He was however negative when tested for the virus, but on July 7 he began to display symptoms of the disease such as fever and breathing difficulties.

A second test was done which came out positive, said Dr Noor Hisham in a statement on Monday (July 13).

One of his family members then also tested positive for Covid-19.

Until Monday, three positive cases have been detected with 14 close contacts determined in the cluster, with all the close contacts testing negative so far.

“The investigation and activities to trace close contacts are actively continued, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.

He added that four family members had picked up the second person from the airport.

“They had used their car to pick him up from the airport. Our investigations revealed that the person’s father also tested positive for Covid-19 after displaying symptoms of fever, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.

He added that those under home surveillance should adhere to the guidelines provided, including staying at home at all times and limiting visitors to the home.

They should also practise social distancing and wear face masks, among other things.

He said that only a few family members should pick up those who just returned to the country.

“Avoid touching and wear a face mask all the time during the journey. If an individual close to the returnee has symptoms, they should get immediate medical attention.

“Those who have symptoms should take the initiative of being at home and self-quarantine themselves while practising social distancing between others,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

He hoped that the public would cooperate to avoid the spread of the disease among family members.

Malaysia recorded seven new Covid-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total number of infections to 8,725 cases.

There are currently 83 active cases or 0.95% of all cases being treated at the country’s health facilities.

Four patients are being treated at intensive care units (ICU) with three of them on ventilator support.

There were no additional deaths from Covid-19, with the death toll remaining at 122, or 1.4% of all cases.

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