8 foreigners attended tabligh convention, 2 with Covid-19 symptoms

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tabligh convention Foreign workers getting their body temperature checked during Covid-19 health screening at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market during the Movement Control Order (MCO) to contain the spread of Covid-19. PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 24 MARCH 2020
Foreign workers getting their body temperature checked during Covid-19 health screening at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market during the Movement Control Order (MCO) to contain the spread of Covid-19. PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 24 MARCH 2020

By Kasthuri Jeevendran

KUALA LUMPUR – A raid and health screening on over 400 foreign workers at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market early this morning found that 10 of them could be suspected of Covid-19.

The Covid-19 Operation was conducted with the collaboration between the Enforcement Department of the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), Ministry of Health (MoH), Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and the Malaysia Civil Defence Force (APM).

The health screening conducted at the foreign workers dominant wholesale market found that it was generally free from the Covid-19 pandemic which has taken 14 lives in the country.

MalaysiaGazette was informed that eight of the suspects admitted that they had attended the tabligh conference at Seri Petaling Mosque recently which has become the main cluster of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Meanwhile, two other suspects are believed to have symptoms of the dangerous pandemic.

According to Dr Nurfarah Adilah, a doctor from MoH, they are unable to give any confirmation now as they have only performed physical examinations such as body temperature and throat checks on them.

Interview with Dr. Nur Adila on the Covid-19 outbreak at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market.  PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 24 MARCH 2020
Interview with Dr. Nur Adila on the Covid-19 outbreak at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market.
PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 24 MARCH 2020

“Perhaps they are positive, we don’t know yet. We are merely suspecting them now using the information given by them, besides the symptoms they showed.

“Eight of them confessed that they attended the tabligh convention or have contacts with that cluster, two of them showed symptoms. So, we conducted the second step, to perform throat examination.

“The first step, we check body temperature. Most of the 400s are okay, so, we let them go. The result of the throat swab would only be known in 24 to 72 hours,” she told MalaysiaGazette today.

Healthcare workers from the Ministry of Health conducting health screening on the foreign workers at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market to curb the spread of Covid-19.     PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 24 MARCH 2020
Healthcare workers from the Ministry of Health conducting health screening on the foreign workers at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market to curb the spread of Covid-19.
PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 24 MARCH 2020

According to Nurfarah, the MOH is working hard to track and screen individuals involved with the tabligh convention in Sri Petaling.

“If we get a call or information, we will go there regardless of the time. We are aggressive as this is a very serious issue.

“When it involves foreigners, it is very difficult as most of them do not know much about the Covid-19. It is very worrying.

“Foreigners live in large congested groups. It is easy for the disease to spread. For the tabligh case, at this moment, those who have not perform health screening have surely exposed themselves to all sorts of other contacts.

“Therefore, we sill investigate carefully and thoroughly,” she added.

Healthcare workers from MOH instruct the foreign workers at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market to queue up 1 metre apart during the health screening to curb the spread of Covid-19.     PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 24 MARCH 2020.
Healthcare workers from MOH instruct the foreign workers at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market to queue up 1 metre apart during the health screening to curb the spread of Covid-19.
PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 24 MARCH 2020.

Several foreign workers were also seen to be confused with the Covid-19 pandemic, especially when it involved enforcement as some of them are staying illegally in the country.

The arrest raid for health screening created a chaos at the wholesale market when some of them tried to escape as they thought that it was an enforcement raid by the Immigration Department.

However, after being briefed, most of them came forward voluntarily with their documents and were screened for Covid-19.

Enforcers from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) instruct the foreign workers at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market to perform health screening to curb the spread of Covid-19.     PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 24 MARCH 2020
Enforcers from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) instruct the foreign workers at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market to perform health screening to curb the spread of Covid-19.
PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 24 MARCH 2020

Besides the MOH, several other agencies such as DBKL are also aggressive in conducting operations, especially in hotspots such as wholesale markets, shop lots and PPR in the capital to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Besides the foreigners, the DBKL enforcers are also getting the homeless to perform health screenings as these group are considered as high risk group for being infected and infecting other contacts.

Healthcare workers from MOH interviewing a foreign worker during the Covid-19 health screening at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market.     PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 24 MARCH 2020
Healthcare workers from MOH interviewing a foreign worker during the Covid-19 health screening at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market.
PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 24 MARCH 2020

The Movement Control Order (MCO) is enforced round the clock in through spot checks and operations on citizens and also foreigners who fail to comply with the restriction order. -MalaysiaGazette

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