COVID-19 swirls among Malaysian cabinet ministers again as two go into quarantine

Coconuts KL
·2-min read

Update: Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun was admitted to hospital at 11am after testing positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 10, according to the ministry.

Two Malaysian ministers went into isolation over the weekend after Economic Affairs Minister Mustapa Mohamad tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday followed by Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun the next day.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Redzuan Yusof as well as Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah began their quarantine over the weekend after they were identified as close contacts. All of them sat next to each other during a socially distanced Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Their quarantine is expected to last around two weeks or until their second tests come back negative.

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Mohd Redzuan Yusof at left and Saifuddin Abdullah at right. Photos: Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Saifuddin Abdullah
Mohd Redzuan Yusof at left and Saifuddin Abdullah at right. Photos: Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Saifuddin Abdullah

“Throughout the Cabinet meeting, there was no physical contact. We were not only physically distanced but there was also a screen between us,” Redzuan told reporters yesterday, noting that everyone wore masks during the meeting. “However, as an identified close contact, I will undergo a swab test as well as remain in isolation as directed.”

Mustapa was admitted to Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital in Kota Bharu, Kelantan while Rina was taken to the Sungai Buloh Hospital this morning. According to Saifuddin, he has not experienced any symptoms.

All four of them had attended Wednesday’s meeting along with dozens of other ministers such as Foreign Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin himself will be among those next in line to go for tests and possibly quarantine.

 Mustapa Mohamad speaking at a Parliamentary sitting. Photo: Mustapa Mohamad/Facebook
Mustapa Mohamad speaking at a Parliamentary sitting. Photo: Mustapa Mohamad/Facebook

Malaysia has been reporting huge spikes in new coronavirus cases in recent days, hitting a new daily record of 3,027 on Thursday. More than 500 people have died of the disease in the country.

Muhyiddin is expected to address the nation about the coronavirus later today.

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This article, COVID-19 swirls among Malaysian cabinet ministers again as two go into quarantine, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.