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No Padang Besar ICQS officers test positive for Covid-19: Health DG

28 May 2020 / 21:13 H.

PUTRAJAYA: Padang Besar Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) Complex personnel who were exposed to Thai students infected with Covid-19 have been screened for the disease and none has tested positive so far, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said the immigration officers at ICQS were exposed to six Thai students who passed through the checkpoint after their return from Saudi Arabia.

“On reaching Thailand, they (students) were tested and found positive, and we were informed of this.

“The immigration officers have been screened as they were exposed to them and considered close contacts. So far none has tested positive but they need to undergo a 14-day quarantine because they were exposed to positive cases,” he told a daily news conference on Covid-19, here today.

Dr Noor Hisham said the repatriation of the Thai students via the Kuala Lumpur International Airport was an arrangement agreed to by the Malaysian and Thai governments.

Yesterday, it was reported that the Padang Besar ICQS has been temporarily closed after the six Thai students passed through the checkpoint and were subsequently diagnosed with Covid-19.

A total of 34 ICQS personnel from the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, Malaysian Volunteer Corps Department (Rela) and Immigration Department have been quarantined at the Kangar Industrial Training Institute.

On the use of antigen Rapid Test Kit (RTK) which was relatively low at only 3,708 tests, Dr Noor Hisham said this type of testing would be ramped up at clinics and immigration detention centres soon.

He said 200,000 units of antigen RTK had been booked and distributed to Sabah, Sarawak, clinics and also deployed at KLIA and KLIA2, as it could give test results in 45 minutes.

“We (Health Ministry) have stepped up our testing capability. So faraway places like in the interior need biosafety cabinets so that we can conduct testing using antigen RTK,“ he added.

He said the use of Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests was also an option as the current capacity has been expanded to almost 30,000 from 8,000 in the beginning. - Bernama

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