The nasi kandar shop at the centre of the Sivaganga cluster in Kedah was found to have not adopted any form of visitors' registration
"The district health office and the state health department is facing challenges in the detection of close contacts [of this cluster]," revealed Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah during the COVID-19 press conference yesterday, 3 August.
He said that the restaurant had not taken the body temperatures of their patrons before entry, neither did they use the MySejahtera application or record customer details manually on paper.
Dr Noor Hisham remarked how the cluster's index case had failed to comply with home quarantine and has now resulted in a total of 21 positive COVID-19 transmissions
"He breached the standard operating procedures (SOP) and we have already fined him," said the Health D-G, as quoted by New Straits Times.
"That was our action from the Ministry of Health (MOH) aspect and we need to contain the infection in the community. He was found positive and taken to the hospital and isolated."
"I recommend that legal action [is taken against him] under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342)," he added.
"I ask that we let the law take its course and not take matters into our own hands."
The MOH also recorded two new COVID-19 cases in the country on Monday, of which one is linked to the Kedah cluster
Dr Noor Hisham announced that one case is an asymptomatic college student in Labuan who tested positive in a random screening and has been sent to Labuan Hospital.
Meanwhile, the other is a regular customer of the nasi kandar restaurant, which is owned by the Sivaganga cluster's index case in Pekan Napoh, Jitra.
"He did an antibody rapid test at a private clinic on 27 July and the results returned negative at that time," said Dr Noor Hisham.
"However, on 31 July, he came down with a fever and cough but he did not inform the district health office or the health clinic for treatment."
"Only a day after being involved in Hari Raya Aidiladha activities did he notify that he is a close contact to the index case," said the Health D-G.
A subsequent reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) confirmation test found him positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, 1 August, and he was admitted to Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital for treatment.
A total of 425 individuals linked to the cluster have been screened, of which 362 are negative while 42 more are still awaiting test results
Dr Noor Hisham reminded the public to not conceal important information such as their contact with COVID-19 patients and to come forward to inform the authorities.
"This is a social responsibility that we must have in each of us so we can collectively curb the spread of COVID-19," he stressed.
Keep practising social distancing and wash your hands often. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:
Five schools in Kedah linked to the cluster have been ordered to close to contain the spread of infection:
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