A new Covid-19 cluster has been detected in Lahad Datu, Sabah, the health ministry said yesterday.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the cluster, known as the Benteng LD Cluster, was discovered following the screening of new detainees at the lock-up of the Lahad Datu district police headquarters.
“A total of 50 detainees were screened on Aug 28 with seven positive cases detected while 43 individuals tested negative for the virus,” he said in a press conference in Putrajaya yesterday.
Noor Hisham said of the positive cases, six were illegal immigrants and the seventh was a Malaysian. The detainees, who were asymptomatic, were admitted to the Lahad Datu hospital.
“Prevention and infection control measures such as cleaning and disinfection processes have been carried out at the identified locations. Active case detection activities and close contact screening are ongoing,” he added.
He said the cause of infection was still under investigation.
In the meantime, he said, the health ministry had found a slight increase in the infectivity rate or R-naught (R0).
“On Aug 26, the reported R0 was 0.74, but now it has increased to 1.0,” he said.
He also said the ministry welcomed the decision to block the entry of long-term pass holders from India, Indonesia and the Philippines from Sept 7 onwards.
He urged members of the public to continue observing the government’s SOPs.
“Members of the public must play their roles in the fight against Covid-19 with a full sense of responsibility to the community and the country,” he said.