15 of Malaysia’s healthcare workers have been diagnosed with Covid-19, with one on life support

Of the 12 ministry staff who are infected, one is currently in ICU on ventilator support.
Facebook/Noor Hisham Abdullah

Over a dozen of Malaysia’s healthcare workers have been diagnosed with Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, authorities revealed on Friday (March 20).

In a Facebook post, Ministry of Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that 12 of the health ministry’s workers and three from the private healthcare sector were infected.

Of the 12 ministry staff, one is currently in ICU on ventilator support, which is also commonly called life support.

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“This virus knows no boundaries, regardless of your race, religion or wealth status, even more so if you are a healthcare worker at the frontline of this war,” he wrote, while urging the public to stay home and avoid social activities.

“Our simple message to the public today: Please help us to help you. Stay at home,” he said.

Earlier on the same day, Dr Noor Hisham had also penned a Facebook post urging the public to give truthful accounts of their travel history and close contacts.

“We had a few incidences this week where patients concealed their contacts and/or symptoms,” he said, explaining that there were people who did not disclose travel history or links with the Jemaah Tabligh gathering in Seri Petaling Mosque. Most of the nation’s 900 infections so far are linked with the event.

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According to Dr Noor Hisham, the links were only disclosed after clinical procedures and treatment were completed.

“By then, the safety of our healthcare workers and facilities had been jeopardised. It is a crime not to reveal or hide information,” he wrote.

“I appeal to the public and patients to please be truthful and not to hide information and risk our lives and facilities,” he added.

Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation to donate medical supplies to Malaysia

In a statement on Friday, the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation said it was donating medical supplies to four countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

“The foundations’ goal is to aid the fight against the Covid-19 virus in these nations, with more support for other neighboring countries to follow,” the statement said.

Together, the organisations plan to donate 2 million masks, 150,000 test kits, 20,000 protective suits and 20,000 face shields to the four countries.

Malaysia currently has the highest number of infections in South-east Asia and the fourth-highest in Asia.

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