Monday, September 20, 2021

Parliament quarantined, MPs barred from leaving after Covid cases reported

A much anticipated session of the Dewan Rakyat has been postponed twice today.

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A much anticipated afternoon session of the Dewan Rakyat was postponed to 5.15pm today after health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah issued a directive that the Parliament building be placed under quarantine following the detection of Covid-19 cases on the premises.

Deputy speaker Rashid Hasnon said all parliament staff as well as MPs attending the current special sitting would have to undergo screening for the virus.

The announcement was greeted by loud jeers from opposition MPs, who had been awaiting the government’s response to a statement by Istana Negara criticising the move to annul the emergency ordinances.

The statement said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was disappointed that the matter was not put forth for debate, adding that he had yet to consent to the revocation of the emergency ordinances.

In a statement today, Noor Hisham said 2,093 people were screened from July 21 to 25. Of these, 56 tested positive: two MPs, six aides and 48 officials from various government agencies.

Of the 56 who tested positive, 39 or 69.6% had yet to be vaccinated or had yet to complete both doses.

Those who tested positive included Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

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