Passengers wear protective masks while they wait for Light Rail Transit train at a station, following the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng/File Photo)

Online posts claiming student arrested due to COVID-19 untrue, say Johor health authorities

JOHOR BAHRU: Social media posts claiming that a coronavirus-positive student was arrested in a school near Kulai are untrue, said Johor health authorities on Thursday (Feb 13) night. 

The student was merely taken for health checks following a police report made by a government hospital, said health department director Dr Aman Rabu. 

The hospital had filed the police report after a patient suspected of having COVID-19 was taken away by his family despite being asked to remain in the ward for further investigation, said Dr Aman in a statement Thursday night. 

Following up on a patient suspected of having an infectious disease is part of police procedure to ensure that hospital instructions are obeyed, he added. 

As the patient was suspected of having a contagious infection, police had called for an ambulance to help take him to hospital. 

"The public should be aware that it is an offence to violate a directive under the Monitoring and Observation Order under Section 15(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988," said Dr Aman. 

READ: COVID-19: Johor state government says no need for panic buying, shops well-stocked with essentials

He also said he hoped people would not spread inaccurate news that could cause panic within the community. 

Johor is widely considered the frontline for Malaysia's battle against the coronavirus. Out of Malaysia's 19 confirmed cases for COVID-19, at least seven of the patients passed through the southern state.