MOH Will Not Name COVID-19 Affected Areas To Avoid Stigmatisation

Instead, the focus will be on sanitisation work to ensure the place can reopen to the public the soonest.

Cover image via SAYS (Facebook) & Avax News

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced that they will not reveal the locations where COVID-19 cases are reported to avoid stigmatisation against the areas

The issue came up during the daily press conference yesterday, 22 October, when Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah was taking questions from media.

One of the questions was regarding whether one of the clusters in Petaling Jaya is connected to another cluster in the area.

"There is a lot of pressure for MOH to announce the locality, the family, or the individual (with COVID-19 cases, but) we do not want to create stigmatisation in that region," said Dr Noor Hisham.

Using a school as an example, he said, "We will close down the school and we will do the sanitisation and disinfection for the school. And then, we will resume (its operation) back next week."

Image via SAYS (Facebook)

The Health D-G explained that MOH will rather focus on quick sanitisation work at the location to ensure it is safe for reopening to the public than to name the locations, and in return, cause fear

"We do our best. If there is a case, we will clean up that area, but we do not want stigmatisation of the restaurant, the mall, or even a condominium," he said.

"So I won't mention names."

MOH's response to the matter is in contrast with Bangi lawmaker Ong Kian Ming's plea for the ministry to emulate the Singaporean government's way of handling the same problem

According to Malaysiakini, Singapore publishes a list of locations where COVID-19 patients had visited for more than 30 minutes.

Ong said this move gives strong confidence to the members of the public — and that it is a better strategy than the vague announcements which label an entire area to be a dangerous zone and causing distress to everyone living there.

Remember to limit your movement and wash your hands often. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:

Yesterday, 22 October, more than 20 individuals at a PJ residence tested positive for the virus:

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