Concerns have arisen that individuals who were physically close to Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad could be infected with Covid-19 following confirmation by the Amanah leader that he has tested positive for the virus.
Khalid said he found out that he was positive for the virus after conducting a self-test yesterday, and is awaiting the outcome of the more accurate PCR test. (A Facebook page linked to him has since confirmed that the PCR test was negative.)
This comes nine days after he was seen removing his mask when speaking in close proximity with police officers during a protest with other opposition MPs outside the Parliament house on Aug 2.
A recording of the event showed Khalid removing his mask as protesters approached a barricade.
Khalid’s act was condemned by Dr Ahmad Samhan, a medical doctor who is popular on social media.
“If even a leader can violate the SOPs, how to expect the people to obey.
“If the people are fined, leaders should also be fined! There’s one who who removed the mask. Frontliners can only face palm,” he said in a post accompanied by a picture of Khalid speaking to a police officer as MPs attempted to break the barricade to Parliament.
Speaking to Malaysiakini, Khalid revealed that he had self-quarantined on Aug 4, two days after the gathering, after a staff tested positive for Covid-19.
He said a subsequent RTK test showed that he was negative.
Khalid’s revelation that he is now positive has led to fears from members of the press and policemen who were at the gathering on Aug 2.
“I decided to take a Covid-19 test as I was also close to the maskless Khalid,” said a cameraman with a news outlet who preferred not to be named, adding that he had yet to get his results.
The gathering by MPs was in protest of a decision to suspend parliamentary sittings based on a directive by health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, after several cases linked to the more transmissible Delta variant were detected during earlier sittings.
They include Jaimin Samitah, a special officer at the tourism, arts and culture ministry, who succumbed to the virus this week, days after attending Parliament to accompany deputy minister Guandee Kohoi.