Report: Deputy minister’s aide dies after testing positive for Covid-19, days after attending Parliament

KUALA LUMPUR : A deputy minister’s special functions officer died yesterday afternoon in Kuala Lumpur, about a week after testing positive for Covid-19, a report today (Aug 10) said.

Datuk Jaimin Samitah was an aide to Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Guandee Kohoi, with Jaimin’s death verified by Guandee’s principal private secretary Ardino Diris to news portal Malaysiakini.

Malaysiakini cited Ardino as saying that Jaimin had accompanied the deputy minister from July 26 to 29 during the four-day special sitting at the Dewan Rakyat.null

Malaysiakini reported that Jaimin had tested negative during the brief July 29 lockdown of Parliament for Covid-19 tests on all persons in the compound, noting that he had later developed symptoms and was confirmed to be positive four days after July 29.

Malaysiakini reported that Datuk Jaimin Samitah had tested negative during the brief July 29 lockdown of Parliament for Covid-19 tests on all persons in the compound, noting that he had later developed symptoms and was confirmed to be positive four days after July 29. — Malaysia Information Department/Nazri Rapaai handout pic via Reuters
Malaysiakini reported that Datuk Jaimin Samitah had tested negative during the brief July 29 lockdown of Parliament for Covid-19 tests on all persons in the compound, noting that he had later developed symptoms and was confirmed to be positive four days after July 29. — Malaysia Information Department/Nazri Rapaai handout pic via Reuters

“Then on July 30 he went to the Motac office in Putrajaya as normal but wasn’t feeling so well. He said he wanted to go back and rest.

“On July 31, according to him he didn’t feel comfortable so he went for an RT-PCR swab test […] on August 2 it was confirmed he was positive,” Ardino was quoted saying by Malaysiakini.

Malaysiakini reported Ardino as suggesting that Jaimin could have contracted Covid-19 when he was in Parliament’s compound, but said it was not clear if the aide is included in Parliament’s Covid-19 cluster.

While Jaimin was reported to have received his full vaccination against Covid-19, it was not stated when he had completed his vaccination.

According to Malaysiakini, Jaimin was also a supreme council member of Sabah-based party Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku Rakyat (Star), and the elder sibling of the Inland Revenue Board’s CEO and director-general Datuk Seri Sabin Samitah.

Separately, local daily The Star’s website this afternoon reported deputy minister Guandee as saying that Jaimin had not shown any signs of being unwell when they last met on July 29.

The Star quoted Guandee as saying that he did a swab test too after being informed by Jaimin of the latter testing positive for Covid-19.

“I tested negative twice and am now back in Kota Kinabalu, self-quarantining for safety’s sake,” Guandee was quoted as saying, adding that he was only informed of Jaimin’s critical situation several days ago and did not expect to hear of his death so fast.

The Star reported Guandee as saying that he was saddened and shocked by Jaimin’s death and expressed his condolences to the latter’s family.

On August 8, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said those that would be considered as fully-vaccinated against Covid-19 for the purposes of benefits through standard operating procedures relaxation are those who have exceeded 14 days of their second shot for AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Sinovac vaccines, or those who have exceeded 28 days after their injection of one-shot vaccines under Johnson & Johnson or CanSino.

Also on August 8, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that 88 Covid-19 positive cases have so far been found in relation to the Dewan Rakyat special sittings from July 26 to July 29.

Out of the 88 cases, the majority were detected even before the Dewan Rakyat sittings had started, with 56 found in pre-screenings for the Dewan Rakyat and four close contacts linked to the 56.

Another 20 were linked to those detected during the Dewan Rakyat sittings, namely 17 positive cases who had attended the sittings and three of their close contacts. The final day of the Dewan Rakyat sittings was supposed to be on August 2, but was postponed indefinitely.

The remaining eight other Covid-19 positive cases out of the 88 are those who were detected in pre-screenings for the Dewan Negara special sittings, which were initially scheduled for August 3 to August 5 but subsequently postponed indefinitely.

Today, Dr Noor Hisham shared Malaysiakini’s report on Jaimin’s death on his Facebook page, while also writing briefly in his same Facebook post that the Delta variant of Covid-19 virus was confirmed to have been detected: “The full genomic sequencing confirmed 5 cases to date of our suspicion of delta variant from the initial RT PCR testing with very low CT value indicating very high virus load. Delta variant has 1200x higher virus load than non VOC.”

By : IDA LIM – MALAY MAIL

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