MOH Apologises After Denying The Crowd Size At Shah Alam COVID-19 Centre

The Ministry Of Health's statement comes after it initially tweeted to say that the photos showing the crowd were fake and then deleted the tweet amidst public backlash.

Cover image via @KKPutrajaya (Twitter) & Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (Facebook)

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It all started with the Ministry of Health (MOH) refuting a viral post, which claimed that a large crowd had gathered at a COVID-19 screening centre in Shah Alam

On Thursday, 8 July, MOH had posted on their social media accounts refuting a viral picture purportedly taken at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre (CAC) in Stadium Malawati.

In the posting, the ministry said that the claim that over 2,000 patients had visited the CAC on Thursday was false, and uploaded two further pictures depicting a quiet stadium with many empty chairs.

Screenshot of the MOH tweet denying the crowd size.

Image via @nizambakeri (Twitter)

This sparked a wave of controversy online, as netizens shared concurring pictures and videos that cast doubt on MOH's claims

One twitter user, who had visited the CAC on the very same day, expressed his exasperation at the denial.

"Did KKM really say this is fake? I was one of them today, and even the staff here told me that over 2,000 people had registered at this CAC," he shared.

Image via Twitter

Other users, who had visited the same CAC previously, also shared that they too faced large crowds.

"There is nothing false about it. I too had to face a crowd until (sic) I had to line up around the block. My friend who registered today, same thing. Why the need to be so secretive?" one wrote less than cordially.

Image via Twitter

Amidst the backlash, MOH took down the tweet on Thursday night, 8 July.

However, it prompted further speculation as the ministry had not offered any explanation for its decision to delete the posting, reported Malay Mail.

A ministry spokesperson was quoted as saying the posting was removed as they contained "incorrect information from the Selangor Health Department concerning the photos and dates".

MOH has now apologised and confirmed that all the pictures were genuine, just taken at different times

In a Facebook post on Friday, 9 July, the ministry clarified that the photos which they had uploaded alongside the refuted picture were actually all taken on the same day, only at different times. 

"There has been some confusion over the real situation at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam that was uploaded yesterday, 8 July" MOH said.

"(In reality) all three photos which were shared by MOH were taken on the same day, Thursday, 8 July 2021," it said before adding, "We apologise for the confusion which has caused public misunderstanding, especially to our frontline health workers".

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