Ministry staff dies of Covid-19 linked to Parliament cluster

A special officer at a federal ministry has succumbed to Covid-19 after being infected with the Delta variant, believed to be from Parliament, MalaysiaNow has learnt.

A health ministry source said the officer had been to Parliament as well as the ministry’s office in Putrajaya.

“He last visited Parliament on July 29, and the following day he showed flu symptoms,” the source told MalaysiaNow.

MalaysiaNow is withholding his identity pending further confirmation.

Dewan Rakyat proceedings came to an abrupt end on July 29 after health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah issued a directive to MPs and staff to undergo Covid-19 tests, following the confirmation of several positive cases from a round of earlier tests.

The Parliament vicinity was quarantined for two weeks, sparking protests from opposition MPs who demanded that the sitting proceed, with a warning to Noor Hisham.

Noor Hisham later explained that test results from the health ministry’s Institute for Medical Research on four samples from positive cases at the Parliament showed links to the Delta variant.

Last week, Noor Hisham said there were 85 positive cases from those who were at Parliament as well as from their close contacts.

Seventeen of them have been traced to the special Dewan Rakyat sitting which began on July 26.

The government had agreed to reconvene Dewan Rakyat sittings following repeated calls from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

But the special sitting, which was to debate the government’s measures on fighting the pandemic, quickly turned into an avenue to call for a change of government.

It was followed by Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his PKR counterpart Anwar Ibrahim gathering support to topple Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Muhyiddin had promised to allow a confidence motion against him when the Dewan Rakyat reconvenes in September but opposition MPs rejected the offer, saying the vote should be carried out immediately. – MALAYSIA NOW

By Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli

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