Malaysia shuts vaccination center after 204 staff infected

Jul 13, 2021, 3:00 AM | Updated: 4:19 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia shut down a mass vaccination center in its worst-hit state Tuesday after more than 200 medical staff and volunteers tested positive for the coronavirus.

The closure was the first of a vaccination center and came as the country’s new confirmed infections breached five figures Tuesday, hitting a record 11,079.

Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin stressed that swift government action had contained the cluster at the Ideal Convention Center in central Selangor state.

Khairy, who is in charge of the national immunization program, said he ordered the testing of all 453 workers at the center after two volunteers were confirmed to have the virus. Khairy said the 204 whose results were positive had low viral loads, meaning the amount of virus in their bodies was small.

This could be because 88% or 400 of the workers have already been vaccinated, he said.

The center was shut for deep sanitization and all its workers are being isolated. Khairy said it will reopen Wednesday with a new team of medical workers.

He urged people who were vaccinated at the center since Friday to isolate themselves for 10 days and be tested if they develop symptoms. He declined to say how many people had visited the center since Friday. It has the capacity to deliver up to 6,000 shots a day.

“This is the first time we had to shut down a (vaccination center) because of positive cases but we acted fast. By shutting it down today and by taking corrective measures … we hope the disruption is only one day and that this will not hamper the vaccination process,” Khairy said.

He said it would be safe to visit the center starting Wednesday for vaccinations.

Khairy said health measures at all other vaccination centers will be tightened, but didn’t order other workers to be tested.

Selangor, the country’s richest state bordering Kuala Lumpur, is the worst hit by the pandemic. It accounted for nearly half of Tuesday’s new cases, partly because of increased virus screening amid a tight lockdown.

The government has struggled to contain the pandemic, which has worsened despite a lockdown since June 1. Total confirmed cases have soared by 50% since June 1 to 855,949, while deaths have more than doubled to over 6,200.

Hospitals especially in Selangor have been overwhelmed, with some patients reportedly being treated on the floor due to a lack of beds, and corpses piling up in mortuaries.

Vaccinations have picked up, with 11% of the population now fully inoculated. At least a quarter of the country’s 32 million people have received at least one dose of vaccine.

The daily vaccination rate surpassed 420,000 doses on Monday, the national Bernama news agency quoted Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as saying,

He expressed confidence that the fast pace of vaccination would help stem the outbreak.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

French airport workers strike for higher pay amid inflation

PARIS (AP) — Flights from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and other French airports faced disruptions Friday as airport workers held a strike and protests to demand salary hikes to keep up with inflation. The labor action is the latest trouble to hit global airports this summer, as travel resurges after two years of […]
1 hour ago
A currency trader walks by the screen showing the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and Sou...
Associated Press

Asian shares mostly lower after pessimistic ‘tankan’ survey

TOKYO (AP) — Asian benchmarks were mostly lower on Friday, echoing a decline on Wall Street, after a quarterly report by Japan’s central bank rekindled worries about the world’s third largest economy. Shares fell in Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney and Shanghai. Markets were closed in Hong Kong for a holiday. Recent data suggest global growth is […]
1 hour ago
FILE - WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for ...
Associated Press

Trial for US basketball star begins in Moscow-area court

MOSCOW (AP) — U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner is set to go on trial in a Moscow-area court Friday, about 4 1/2 months after she was arrested on cannabis possession charges at an airport while traveling to play for a Russian team. The Phoenix Mercury center and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist could face up […]
1 day ago
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a joint news conference with Indonesian President Joko Wid...
Associated Press

Putin’s week: Facing NATO expansion, West’s unity on Ukraine

It has not been an easy week for Russian President Vladimir Putin. He took his first foreign trip since the invasion of Ukraine to shore up relations with troublesome Central Asian allies. He watched as NATO declared Moscow its main enemy and invited Russia’s neighbors Sweden and Finland to join the alliance. And he was […]
1 day ago
A roadside cotton candy vendor drinks water from a plastic pouch as he waits for customers at a wee...
Associated Press

India bans some single-use plastic as part of broader plan

NEW DELHI (AP) — India banned some single-use or disposable plastic products Friday as part of a federal plan to phase out the ubiquitous material in the nation of nearly 1.4 billion people. For the first stage, it has identified 19 plastic items that aren’t very useful but have a high potential to become litter […]
1 day ago
FILE - Reveler carry a LTBGQ flag along Fifth Avenue during the New York City Pride Parade on Sunda...
Associated Press

Same-sex couples updating legal status after abortion ruling

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Emails and phone calls from same-sex couples, worried about the legal status of their marriages and keeping their children, flooded attorney Sydney Duncan’s office within hours of the Supreme Court’s decision eliminating the constitutional right to abortion. The ruling last week didn’t directly affect the 2015 decision that paved the way […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Malaysia shuts vaccination center after 204 staff infected