Health D-G: Why Recovered Patients Tested Positive Again, Don’t Allow Students to Rush Home

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Warning of not making the “same mistake” of allowing students to rush home.

Patients who have recovered from Covid-19 may test positive again due to virus shedding or residual remains of the virus without being infected, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.

He said this was one of two possibilities that could explain why five recovered Covid-19 patients tested positive again in a follow-up test two days later.

“One possibility is there is a possibility of re-infection. Before discharging patients, we will provide counselling on how to avoid being infected.

Miera Zulyana

“(The other is) if they test a weak positive, it is virus shedding or residual virus, but they are not infected,” he told the daily press conference on Covid-19 in Putrajaya today.

Dr Noor Hisham also said that the government should only release university students currently stuck on their campuses due to the movement-control order (MCO) in controlled fashion.

He said the return must be carried out on a scheduled basis so as to avoid crowding.

“We do know some of our students have been at their universities for the last four weeks.

“What is important is there is scheduled planning for them to go back to their hometowns,” he said.

No clusters of infection have been detected among students on campus.

However, Dr Noor Hisham said the country must not make the “same mistake” of allowing them to rush home.

Kamal Ariffin/TMI

The MCO, which began on March 18, saw thousands of people rushing to bus and train terminals the evening before in attempts to get home.

Back then, there were multiple changes in the instructions given to university and college students on whether they should remain on campus or not, resulting in the mass exodus.