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M’sian defence minister tests positive for COVID-19

CNA – Malaysia’s Senior Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has tested positive for COVID-19, his office confirmed in a statement yesterday.

“As an individual who has already received the booster dose, he will undergo isolation in line with current regulations set by the Ministry of Health,” the statement said.

Hishammuddin, who is also Defence Minister, undergoes regular reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing and self-testing via the antigen rapid test, the statement added. “The last time he underwent the RT-PCR test and received a negative test was on Friday, February 18,” it said.

The statement said that Hishammuddin will continue to monitor and carry on with his work throughout the isolation period.

The Sembrong MP was recently fined for breaching COVID-19 health protocols at an event in Johor on February 13.

A video of the political event circulating on social media showed Hishammuddin and other politicians walking among a crowd with minimal social distancing.

Opposition lawmaker Hannah Yeoh had called for the government to remove Hishammuddin from his duty of chairing the COVID-19 Quartet Ministerial Meeting.

However, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob maintained that the fine issued to Hishammuddin was not for a criminal offence and therefore, there is no need for the senior minister to resign from his post.