Asymptomatic Covid-19 patients in Malaysia are isolated at home first as worker cases surge

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KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia advises individuals who have tested positive for coronavirus but do not have symptoms of Covid-19 to first self-isolate at home, as cases involving foreign employees are on the rise.

These patients who are asymptomatic should keep in touch with their health offices in the area.

Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, Director-General of the Health Ministry, said that these patients could not be taken to hospitals immediately, as the health care system is overwhelmed, Malay Mail online news quoted him saying on Monday (Dec 28).

Malaysia is struggling with logistical problems such as the transport of people to hospitals and the testing and finding of Covid-19 for a large number of foreign staff.

“We are talking about more than 1,000 cases a day. This is because of increased testing among foreign workers, and as expected more cases being diagnosed,” said Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham, as quoted by the Malay Mail.

The testing of foreign staff for Covid-19 was stepped up by Malaysia.

Regulation of the mandatory Covid-19 screening for foreign workers will commence on January 1 – only for the six high-risk states and federal territories, Human Resources Minister M. Saravanan said, as reported by The Star Daily.

These provinces, along with the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, comprise Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Penang and Sabah, with some 800,000 foreign workers involved.

For other nations, after February of next year, mass testing on foreign workers will commence.

Datuk Seri Saravanan said that, according to The Star, a total of 68,460 foreign workers were screened as of Sunday, including 2,385 employers.

Over the past few weeks, the authorities have intensively reviewed the accommodation of foreign workers and imposed fines on firms, including glovemakers, for housing migrants in crowded and poor conditions that have partly triggered the spread of Covid-19.

According to the Malay Mail, Malaysia reported 1,196 new coronavirus infections on Sunday. It currently has 20,233 instances of active Covid-19.

Last Saturday, Malaysia reported a record high number of daily cases, with 2,335 infections, since the beginning of the pandemic. With 728 cases, Kuala Lumpur accounted for the largest share of the new infections, 31.2 percent. Selangor followed this with 710 cases and Johor with 412 cases.

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