Special SOPs to ensure smooth parliamentary sitting: Health DG

Special SOPs to ensure smooth parliamentary sitting: Health DG

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Parliament, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Security Council (MKN), has developed several special standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure the smooth running of the First Meeting of the Fourth Session of the 14th Parliament today, to reduce the risk the transmission of Covid-19.

Health director-general, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, said among the SOPs include being fully vaccinated (and have completed the 14-day window period) and having undergone a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test within three days before entering the building.

“In addition, during the parliamentary session, all attendees in the Parliament building must undergo a self-test to detect Covid-19 infection as prescribed by the Parliament,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said the MOH also advised all individuals attending Parliament to comply with the existing SOPs and regulations to ensure smooth and safe sittings, and that the spread of Covid-19 could be prevented within the Parliament complex.

Meanwhile, he said, 26 of the 1,801 individuals who underwent a Covid-19 screening test at the Parliament building, have been confirmed positive for Covid-19, and the reported cases were the result of RT-PCR tests involving a senator and 25 parliamentary staff.

Besides that, there were also two MPs identified as Covid-19 positive based on screenings outside the complex.

“Preliminary findings revealed that all positive individuals had completed their vaccinations and 15 of them were previously confirmed positive for Covid-19, between May 27, 2021 and Sept 1, 2021, while 13 individuals tested positive for the first time during screenings, between Sept 10 and 11, 2021.

“Two cases had high infectivity rates with a RT-PCR cycle threshold (CT) value between 17.57 and 20.58, and 26 cases with a CT value between 21.95 and 38.23,” he said.

He also said the PCR genotyping assay tests conducted revealed 18 samples were likely to be Delta variant and one with a likelihood of being Beta variant.

He explained that the National Public Health Laboratory (MKAK) has begun conducting the Covid-19 Whole Genome Sequencing to determine the actual variants.

In the meantime, he said among the measures taken to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the Parliament building, was that individuals who were confirmed positive for the first time (13 cases) were not allowed to attend the sittings.

“They have been isolated and given a HSO (home surveillance and observation order). Investigations and risk assessments are still being carried out to determine the epidemiological relationship among each of them and to identify close contacts,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham also said that individuals who had been confirmed with Covid-19 before (15 cases), would be re-checked to assess their current level of health and infection so that further action could be taken.

“This move is important to further identify the status of their infection, as there are those who still have mild symptoms. For now, they are also not allowed to attend the parliamentary session until they are given the final results of the evaluation by the MOH,” he added. –Bernama