KUALA LUMPUR (April 8): As the number of COVID-19 infected healthcare workers in the country climbed to 181, Ministry of Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah reiterated that none of their infections was due to the handling of patients who were tested positive for the coronavirus.
He also denied the accusations of a private doctor who reportedly claimed that the authorities had failed to protect the healthcare workers and frontliners because of a shortage of personal protective equipment or PPEs.
Meanwhile, he said two healthcare workers have died. The two had a history of having travelled abroad - one to Turkey and the other to Indonesia.
All in all, he said 80% of the healthcare workers who were infected did not get the illness from the hospital, citing a wedding reception where some of them had gone to as one example. It was previously reported that the wedding reception was also attended by some participants of the Sri Petaling tabligh or religious gathering.
“Then, some of them went back to the hospitals and infected their friends,” he told reporters during his daily COVID-19 status update today.
Hence, the remainder 20% got it from within the hospital, and most of them did not tell doctors at first that they had close contact with other people who had been tested positive for the coronavirus.
Most of these infections happened in private hospitals, he added. So the Ministry had held discussions with the managements of private hospitals in early and mid-March to advise them to take precautionary measures.
Malaysia reported 156 new COVID-19 cases today, pushing the total in the country to 4,119. The death toll is now at 65, after two more fatalities were recorded.