KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's National Unity Minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the fifth member of the Cabinet to be diagnosed with the disease.
She will undergo treatment and quarantine in Johor Bahru.
In a statement on Tuesday (Jan 19), the National Unity Ministry said Halimah will continue to ensure that the ministry's operations will run smoothly during her treatment and recovery period.
“The minister expresses her gratitude to all quarters who have prayed for her recovery and apologises for any inconvenience caused by this development,” the statement said.
Halimah was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Tuesday, a day after being tested for the coronavirus.
Four other Cabinet members have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past month - Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy) Mustapa Mohamed, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Mohd Harun, as well as Home Affairs Minister Hamzah Zainudin.
Padang Rengas Member of Parliament Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz also confirmed on Tuesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
He said he took a swab test at a hospital in Kelantan on Monday after he discovered that he had been in close contact with blogger Zaharin Mohd Yasin.
The blogger had attended a press conference chaired by Nazri in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 12 and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.
All states in Malaysia, with the exception of Sarawak, will be placed under movement control order (MCO) from 12.01am on Jan 22 until Feb 4, Malaysia’s Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Tuesday.
Malaysia's King Al-Sultan Abdullah on Jan 12 declared a state of emergency across the country to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The tally of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia stands at more than 165,000.