COVID-19: New cluster detected in Penang, named Ara Cluster

By , in COVID19 Local on .

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has detected another new cluster known as the Ara Cluster in Penang, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said there were two positive cases detected so far with the index case (case 10,024) was a 44-year-old local man.

“The index case was detected positive with COVID-19 during screening at the International Entry Point (PMA) in Sandakan, Sabah on Sept 15 following the arrival of the case from the peninsula.

“Following that, close contact screening was conducted and another positive case of COVID-19 was identified, namely the niece of the index case. She was tested positive on Sept 19 and admitted to Penang Hospital for treatment,” he said in a statement here today.

A total of 16 individuals have been screened so far in the cluster with 14 detected negative and the cause of infection is still under investigation.


On the development of several COVID-19 clusters in Sabah, Dr Noor Hisham said of the 52 new cases today, 27 involved the Benteng LD Cluster thus increasing the number of positive cases from the cluster to 578.

To date, a total of 8,627 individuals have been screened namely 6,345 in Tawau; 2,281 in Lahad Datu and one in Sandakan.

“For the positive cases from this cluster, 287 are citizens and 291 are non-citizens involving 191 Filipinos and 100 Indonesians,” he said.

As for the Selamat Cluster, he said two new cases were detected, making it seven cases in total while one case was detected respectively in Bakau and Pulau Clusters bringing the total to four and 15 cases respectively.

In another development, Dr Noor Hisham said there were three active administrative Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) areas, involving two localities in Kedah namely Amanjaya and Kota Setar, while one in Sabah namely Tawau Prison and quarters.

Dr Noor Hisham said a total of 13,591 individuals were screened in Amanjaya with 16 detected positive and 13,575 negative involving three zones namely Kenanga, Mawar and Melor.

“The administrative EMCO period is extended until Sept 26 in the Melor Zone after 13 new cases were detected in the zone on the 13th day.

“All 16 positive cases are Malaysian citizens. A total of 600 repeat samples were taken from the Melor Zone on Sept 19 and are still awaiting results,” he said.

For the administrative EMCO in Kota Setar which is expected to end on Sept 25, he said a total of 17,954 individuals were screened with 17 positive cases; 17,320 negative and 617 awaiting results.

For administrative EMCO in Tawau Prison and quarters, 6,345 individuals were screened with 426 tested positive; 4,120 negative and 1,799 still awaiting results, he added.


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