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Benteng Cluster: How It Started, How It Spread & Should Malaysians Be Worried?



Source: Awani & Sinar Harian

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Yesterday, 8 September marks the first time in three months that our nation has had a three-digit increase in Covid-19 positive cases.

Out of the 100 cases reported, 85 of them were local transmissions. 62 of the cases are in Sabah and are part of the Benteng Cluster while the rest were all from another cluster called the Sungai cluster (Kedah & Perlis).

The Benteng cluster has had a large increase in positive cases ever since with 50 cases on 7 September and 62 cases on 8 September.

According to the Ministry of Health’s Facebook post, the cluster started with the arrival of two illegal immigrants who wanted to sneak into the country. However, their plans were thwarted and they were subsequently arrested on 24 August. The duo was screened on 31 August and was found to be positive for Covid-19. They were then sent to the hospital and the Ministry of Health commenced contact tracing.

These are the statistics as of 8 September:

Benteng Cluster

a) Lahad Datu (431 tested):

  • 87 COVID-19 positive
  • 132 negative
  • 212 still awaiting results

b) Tawau (1,579 tested):

  • 41 COVID-19 positive
  • 425 negative
  • 1,113 still awaiting results

The main factor that caused this rise in cases was that they were put in a lock-up that was quite small and congested. No physical distancing was practised.

In the press conference on 8 September, Health director-general Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Noor Hisham has said that the public doesn’t need to worry about the spread of the Benteng Cluster as it is ‘separated’ from the public. This cluster is the same as the ones in the immigration depots earlier this year.


Also read: Covid-19: Guest From Penang Wedding Reception Tests Positive, MOH Urges Others Present To Contact Them

Source: KKM
Source: Awani

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