Malaysian leader quarantines after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will self-quarantine for 14 days. (AFP)
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Updated 05 October 2020

Malaysian leader quarantines after minister tests positive for COVID-19

  • Authorities in Malaysia have warned that coronavirus restrictions may have to be reimposed if cases continue rise

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday said he will self-quarantine for 14 days after a minister who attended a high-level government meeting to discuss coronavirus developments on Saturday tested positive for COVID-19.
The Southeast Asian country has seen a steady climb in cases in the past week in the aftermath of an election in the state of Sabah in Borneo on Sept 26.
Authorities in Malaysia have warned that coronavirus restrictions may have to be reimposed if the trend continues, amid popular anger toward politicians who have been blamed for the spike.
In a statement, Muhyiddin confirmed that Religious Affairs Minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri had tested positive, and that those identified as close contacts at Saturday’s National Security Council meeting to discuss COVID-19 had been issued a 14-day home surveillance order starting Oct 3.
“Pursuant to that, I will undergo self-quarantine at my home for 14 days as advised by the health ministry,” Muhyiddin said.
“However, this will not interrupt government business. I will continue to work from home and use video conferencing to conduct meetings as necessary.”
In an earlier statement, the health ministry said contact tracing had been carried out, including symptom screening and collection of swabs to detect COVID-19 infections.
In a Facebook post on Monday, Zulkifli confirmed that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was now undergoing treatment.
In a separate statement, Malaysia’s health ministry reported 432 new daily cases on Monday, setting a new record since the country started tracking the pandemic.


CIA officer killed in Somalia: US media

Updated 7 min 12 sec ago

CIA officer killed in Somalia: US media

  • The US has some 700 troops training Somali forces and carrying out raids against Al-Shabab militants
  • Al-Shabab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, is estimated to have between 5,000 and 9,000 fighters

WASHINGTON: A CIA officer was killed in combat in Somalia in recent days, US media said Thursday without releasing details of how the agent died.
The veteran officer was a member of the CIA’s Special Activities Center, a paramilitary branch that carries out some of the US intelligence agency’s most dangerous tasks, The New York Times said.
The officer died of injuries sustained during an operation last week, according to CNN.
The CIA has not commented publicly on the death.
Washington has some 700 troops deployed in Somalia carrying out training of Somali forces and conducting counter-terrorism raids against the Al-Shabab militant group, which Washington designated a terrorist movement in 2008.
Earlier this month, Washington put on its terror blacklist the leader of an elite unit of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group blamed for a January attack in Kenya that killed three Americans.
Al-Shabab is estimated to have between 5,000 and 9,000 fighters who have vowed to overthrow the Somali government, which is supported by some 20,000 troops from the African Union.
The slain US operative was a veteran of special forces operations, having previously been a member of the elite SEAL Team 6, the Times reported.
The outgoing administration of President Donald Trump is considering withdrawing all US forces from Somalia by the time he leaves office in January, the paper added.
At the start of his term, Trump gave the Pentagon a freer hand to expand their operations, with both air strikes and ground raids, in the war-ravaged African country.
But an official report released in February said that “despite continued US air strikes in Somalia and US assistance to African partner forces, Al-Shabab appears to be a growing threat that aspires to strike the US homeland.”