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COVID-19: Health DG Never Issued Statement Over Pantai, Bangsar Areas

TOPSHOT - An aerial view shows residential and commercial buildings of Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on January 27, 2020, amid a deadly virus outbreak which began in the city. - China on January 27 extended its biggest national holiday to buy time in the fight against a viral epidemic and neighbouring Mongolia closed its border, after the death toll spiked to 81 despite unprecedented quarantine measures. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

Director-General of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today he had never issued a statement asking the public to avoid the Pantai and Bangsar areas over the next 10 days due to COVID-19, as was viralled on social media.

He said the Bernama report which quoted him as having given such advice was inaccurate.

The erroneous paragraph was in a Bernama report quoting Dr Noor Hisham praising the quick action taken by Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur cardiologist Datuk Dr Sanjiv Joshi who voluntarily distanced himself from the hospital, clinic and family for 14 days.

Dr Noor Hisham had said that Dr Sanjiv, despite being tested negative for COVID-19, quarantined himself during the incubation period as “prevention is better than cure”.

“Dr Sanjiv was treating Case 29 (a 35-year-old woman who shared a room with Case 24) who later tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Sanjiv then voluntarily distanced himself (from the public) for 14 days. I hope those who came into close contact with him will emulate his action to do what is right,” Dr Noor Hisham had said in a post on his official Facebook account last night.

The inaccurate news report sparked concern among residents in the vicinity and those who wanted to go to the hospital and nearby areas.

Last night, Bernama corrected the inaccurate news report and issued a note to editors but several news organisations had already carried the news on their portals.

Bernama contacted the respective editors and the news report was removed from their portals.

Bernama regrets having released the inaccurate news report.


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