Malaysia's asymptomatic Covid-19 patients to isolate at home first: health director-general

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia is advising people who have tested positive for the coronavirus but presented no symptoms to self-isolate at home first.

They should also keep in contact with their district health offices.

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said these patients may not be taken to hospitals immediately, in view of the overloaded healthcare system, Malay Mail reported on Monday (Dec 28).

This is because of logistical issues including the ferrying of people to hospitals, as well as an overloaded healthcare system that is currently dealing with a high number of cases, he explained.

“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,” Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham told Malay Mail.

“Foreign workers have no place to be isolated in…we have thousands here. We are increasing the number of (hospital) beds to 10,000.”

Malaysia has stepped up the testing of foreign workers for Covid-19.

Enforcement on the mandatory Covid-19 screening for foreign workers will start from Jan 1 – only for the six high-risk states, said Human Resources Minister M. Saravanan, The Star reported.

They are Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Penang, Sabah and the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, involving some 800,000 foreign workers.

For other states, the enforcement will start after February next year.

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

Malaysia recorded 1,196 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, according to Malay Mail. It currently has 20,233 active Covid-19 cases.

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