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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

MySejahtera highlights hotspots 'only if there is transmission risk'

 


COVID-19 | The government’s MySejahtera app only highlights certain locations as hotspots if there is a potential that they could be a source of Covid-19 transmission, said Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

His explanation came as netizens questioned why certain locations reported as having been visited by Covid-19 patients were not included in MySejahtera’s hotspot tracking feature.

“The determination of hotspots is based on the location of positive cases and locations that could potentially be sources of Covid-19 transmission.

“The Health Ministry would need to conduct risk and infectivity assessments before stating a place as having the potential to be a source for spreading Covid-19,” he said.

For the record, the Health Ministry has a policy of not revealing identifying information of patients as per patient confidentiality requirements including those of Covid-19 patients.

Instead, the MySejahtera app informs users whether there have been Covid-19 cases in the past 28 days within one kilometre of a given location, this without stating the precise date and location of where the case was detected.

Nevertheless, more information has emerged as businesses, building managers, and others have voluntarily come forward to report confirmed or suspected cases on their premises and explain measures they have taken to curb the risk of transmission.

As examples, several shopping malls have publicly announced that either a patron or a staff had tested positive for Covid-19 and that they have closed the affected areas for disinfection.

A Maybank branch in Kapar was also closed as a precaution after an employee came into contact with a suspected Covid-19 patient while the Desa Petaling Sports Complex said a participant at a badminton tournament there had tested positive for Covid-19.

All affected locations have since been disinfected.

Noor Hisham thanked the shopping malls for their proactive measures in taking infection prevention and control measures and urged members of the public not to share unverified information.

On its official Facebook page today, the Health Ministry debunked a list of locations that had purportedly been visited by Covid-19 patients.

It said that places visited by Covid-19 patients are safe to visit after disinfection and decontamination as long as standard operating procedures to curb the spread of the disease are complied with.

“Such misinformation can affect others. Avoid stigma, get accurate information,” said the Health Ministry's posting. - Mkini

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