The Health Ministry is concerned about the high number of asymptomatic Covid-19 patients among tahfiz school students in the country.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said 539 tahfiz students or 84.9% out of the 635 students tested positive for Covid-19 showed no signs of infection.
“This is why we are worried that tahfiz students, teachers and staff who return to their villages and homes may think they are healthy but may spread the virus to their friends and family, especially to their elder grandparents, ” he said at the daily Covid-19 briefing yesterday.
He urged tahfiz students who had travelled home to go to the nearest designated health facilities to get screened and tested for Covid-19. Those who had yet to return home, he added, were asked to remain at their madrasah to allow the authorities to better monitor the situation.
As of yesterday, 19,209 tahfiz students, teachers and staff have been identified from 370 madrasah and tahfiz centres nationwide.
“Of this, a total of 12,384 samples have been tested with 635 positive cases and 10,755 negative cases.
“We are still waiting for the results for 944 cases, ” he said, adding that there was a worrying rise in the trend of infections from this group, which increased from 4.4% last week to 5.1% currently.
Dr Noor Hisham said, however, that students and staff of some 1,000 private madrasah schools nationwide have yet to come forward for screening and tests.
The ministry, he added, would also not be conducting mass testing, sticking instead to its tried and tested targeted approach.
This was despite having increased its daily testing capacity to 26,673 from 45 laboratories.
“If you test everyone, the next question is, how often do you test? So, instead of testing everyone, we focus on target groups. And we have seen that the first three phases of the movement control order (MCO) have shown positive results. We managed to flatten the curve.” he said.
He also show his concern on Facebook yesterday with a caption as follow:
Earlier, Dr Noor Hisham announced 40 more Covid-19 cases and one new death, taking the death toll to 112.
He also said 70 more patients had been discharged in the same 24-hour span, which meant that 5,351 patients had recovered from Covid-19 since the outbreak began in Malaysia.
There are only 1,356 active cases being treated at the country’s health facilities and 16 patients are under intensive care, with 4 on ventilator support.