ALOR SETAR (Aug 9): A total of 750 healthcare workers at public and private health facilities in Kedah tested positive for Covid-19 throughout last year until July 31.

State Health Director Dr Othman Warijo said of the total, 85 cases occurred last year with an incidence rate of 0.36% of all healthcare workers in the state while for this year, as of July 31, 665 cases were reported or 2.83%.

He said the infection cases involved various categories of staff including nurses, officers and medical specialists, dental officers, assistant medical officers, allied health professionals, healthcare assistants, administration and support services staff.

"The increase in the rate is parallel with the rise in Covid-19 confirmed cases in the state," he said in a statement on Aug 8.

Dr Othman assured that health services in the state are not affected despite the Covid-19 infection among healthcare workers, and urged the public to continue to adhere to standard operating procedures and adopt new norms to break the chain of the pandemic.

Dr Othman said that further analysis of the data this year showed that healthcare personnel who tested positive for Covid-19 involved all ages, from 20 to 60 years old, with 69% of them being female workers.

"Further analysis showed that 99.7% of the cases this year were mild or asymptomatic and no fatalities among health workers were reported as of July 31," he said.

He added that the department's records also indicated that 59% of the cases were infected outside the workplace, but infection in the workplace still occurred and it needed immediate attention.

"To address this issue, all healthcare workers in the public and private sectors, as well as volunteers are often advised, trained and monitored to comply with preventive and control measures in the workplace," he said.

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