CORONAVIRUS | Health Ministry director-general today emphasised the importance for patients to be truthful about their close contacts and travel history.
He then gave the example of a patient who returned from Italy and subsequently sparked a cluster of Covid-19 infections in Sarawak with five deaths.
"The Health Ministry would like to stress the utmost importance for people to truthfully provide information if they have had close contact with a Covid-19 case, history of overseas travel or attended gatherings closely linked to the spread of Covid-19 which have been highlighted by the Health Ministry.
"As an example, from the investigation, it was found a cluster arose from a Covid-19 index case who had a history of travel to Italy (Case 1,580).
"To date, 37 people in the cluster have tested positive for Covid-19 where five people have died and one is in the intensive care unit and needs breathing aid. The cluster of infections have spread to the third generation," he told a press conference in Putrajaya today.
A third-generation spread means the virus had jumped from one person to a different person for three consecutive times.
The five from the cluster who have died are Case 1,031, Case 1,032, Case 1,006, Case 2,850 and Case 2,210.
Hisham said to date, some 180 countries are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Therefore, there is a real risk of Covid-19 cases being imported into the country and causing outbreaks.
"In line with the movement control order, Malaysians returning from abroad will be placed in quarantine centres.
"They will be screened at the entry points for fever and Covid-19 symptoms. Covid-19 tests will also be administered and they will be observed at the quarantine stations for 14 days," he said.
He said any patients who show symptoms, be it on arrival or at quarantine stations, will be immediately sent to the hospital.
Keep up with the latest information on the outbreak in the country with Malaysiakini's free Covid-19 tracker.
Malaysiakini is providing free access to the most important updates on the coronavirus pandemic. You can find them here.
Help keep independent media alive - subscribe to Malaysiakini.