New cluster at Menggatal detention centre. Another major cluster in making?
Published on: Friday, October 30, 2020
By: Zam Yusa
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Former Home Minister Dato' Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi visits the Menggatal Temporary Detention Centre commonly known as Rumah Merah in 2014. (File photo: moha.gov.my)
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah recorded another Covid-19 cluster involving a detention facility with dozens of cases on Friday, raising concern that a major cluster is in the making like the state’s two biggest clusters involving Kepayan Prison and Lahad Datu police headquarters lockup.

The Ministry of Health declared a cluster at the illegal immigrants’ Temporary Detention Centre in Menggatal usually referred to as Rumah Merah, which is also the name given by the ministry to the cluster.

Data from the ministry showed the Rumah Merah cluster had 57 total cases, 56 of them new, while 72 individuals were found negative, but no figures were given yet as to how many people had been screened at the often reportedly cramped detention centre.

The ministry identified a 48-year-old symptomatic foreigner as the cluster's index patient.

Sabah’s biggest cluster Kepayan Prison, which recorded six new cases on Friday, has 1,676 total cases while Benteng LD has just over 1,000 cases and has not been seeing new cases lately including today.

Both clusters were the main drivers of the state’s daily caseload until last week when the Kepayan Prison cluster began to show signs of dissipating.

Sabah recorded two other new clusters named Telipok and Sembulan on Friday.

The Sembulan cluster started in a courier company while Telipok was found during screening of employees at a rice mill, said Sabah Covid-19 crisis spokesman Datuk Masidi Manjun.

Data from the ministry showed a 22-year-old symptomatic local man is the Sembulan cluster's index patient.


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