26/03/2020 03:15 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26  -- Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah are observing a 14-day self-quarantine after seven of Istana Negara staff were tested positive for COVID-19.

Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, in a statement, said Their Majesties had also undergone the COVID-19 tests, but their results came out negative.

“Nevertheless, Their Majesties are now observing a 14-day self-quarantine, starting yesterday,” he said, adding that the seven staff are currently receiving treatment at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

Ahmad Fadil said Al-Sultan Abdullah was also advised not to hold the weekly pre-Cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday and the following weeks until the COVID-19 situation in the country improves.

“While lauding the government’s announcement of the extension of the Movement Control Order (MCO) period to April 14, His Majesty also expressed hope that all Malaysians will stay strong in facing this difficult time and continue giving their support and cooperation to healthcare workers and security personnel,” he said.

In conjunction with the 213th National Police Day celebration yesterday, he said the King also expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Royal Malaysia Police personnel for their commitment and perseverance in discharging their duties to ensure compliance of the MCO to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infection.

Al-Sultan Abdullah also said that Religious Affairs Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al Bakri should set the date for all Muslims in the country to perform the solat hajat (prayer of need) simultaneously in their respective homes to seek Allah’s help in curbing the spread of the disease.

Yesterday, Zulkifli in a statement said Muslims would respond to the call from Al-Sultan Abdullah to perform the prayer and at the same time abide by the MCO directives.

On the Istana Negara staff tested positive for COVID-19, Ahmad Fadil said the Ministry of Health (MOH) was in the midst of tracing the source of their infection, while the Kepong Health Centre had identified their close contacts.

“All the close contacts of the staff have been instructed to undergo COVID-19 tests and screening and in order to avoid and prevent the spread of the disease at Istana Negara, they have also been instructed to observe 14-day self-quarantine, starting yesterday,” he said.

Ahmad Fadil said a thorough disinfection exercise will be carried out at Istana Negara in accordance with the MOH’s safety and health guidelines to ensure maximum safety and conducive environment at the palace.

“Precautionary measures to ensure the wellbeing of all staff at Istana Negara have also been a priority to His Majesty and have been implemented even before the MCO took effect.

“Istana Negara will continue giving its full cooperation to the MOH in ensuring that the spread of the disease could be curbed quickly and effectively,” he added.


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