PUTRAJAYA: The high infectivity rate from the Mengketil Cluster in Kelantan has caused infections to spread rapidly, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said that apart from recording a spike in cases in a short period, the cluster had also spread to the districts of Kota Bharu, Tanah Merah Pasir Mas and Kuala Krai in the state, as well as being detected in Besut, Terengganu.

As such, he said proactive and pre-emptive action through the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Kelantan effective tomorrow was to level the increase in cases in the state.

“One reason why there is infection in Kelantan is because of cases from red zones or districts returning to the state.

“So, we are concerned because there is way too much movement from one district to another, from one state to another. So, the infectivity rate is high,” he told a media conference on Covid-19 development here today.

The Mengketil Cluster was detected in Kelantan on Nov 12 and has, so far, recorded a total of 45 cases, including three new cases today.

The government today announced the enforcement of the CMCO throughout Kelantan effective from tomorrow (Nov 21) until Dec 6.

Citing the Cheras Cluster and Kaya Cluster, Dr Noor Hisham said the infections in these clusters occurred in the Klang Valley and Negeri Sembilan, but the affected individuals had travelled to Kelantan and infected their close family and community members.

Asked for a projection on the infectivity in Kelantan, Dr Noor Hisham said it was at an early stage, but the MOH hoped to flatten the increase in cases in the next two weeks through the enforcement of the CMCO.

He said the CMCO, in balancing the health and economic aspects, had prevented a spike in cases, where the previous four weeks of implementation reduced the infectivity rate from 2.2 to 1.0.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the MOH would increase control at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to ensure individuals who have undergone screening before leaving Sabah are given wristbands to wear and be instructed to undergo Home Surveillance Order (HSA) before being allowed to exit the airport.

This is following the index case of the Bah Bercham Cluster in the Kinta district in Perak who underwent screening in Tawau and was confirmed to be negative three days before leaving for Kuala Lumpur, but who did not pick up the wristband upon arrival at the KLIA.

“Actually, when he (the index case) is negative, he must go to the (MOH) counter where he will be given the wristband which he must wear and issued with the HSO. But (this individual) did not go to the counter and just left (the KLIA),” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said the case was only detected when the individual showed symptoms and sought treatment.

He said 17 per cent of those who returned from Sabah tested positive for Covid-19 on the 13th day. As for those who returned from overseas, 22 per cent tested also positive on the 13th day.