Recently, the government ordered 1 Utama shopping mall to temporarily close down after four COVID-19 cases were reported at its premises.
Following their closure, the mall has taken the initiative to conduct mass testing for 6,000 tenant staff at the mall - all fully paid for by the mall’s management.
On Wednesday (14 October), the Petaling District Disaster Management Committee (JBPD Petaling) released a statement on the 1 Utama cluster after it was found that a total of 63 cases were detected there.
Kenyataan Media Jawatankuasa Pengurusan Bencana Daerah Petaling bertarikh 14hb Oktober 2020 #staysafe #patuhiSOP
Posted by Pejabat Daerah/Tanah Petaling on Wednesday, 14 October 2020
According to JBPD 15 cases were from the mall’s staff, 44 were from the security guards, while the remaining three were from the mall’s customers.
The committee recommended that the mall continue with mass testing and ensure that the security guards’ company provides new personnel that are not involved with the existing cases.
However, on Thursday (15 October), 1 Utama’s management rebutted JBPD Petaling’s statement by saying that it was misleading.
“We would like to hereby state that the 44 covid positive cases of security guards mentioned in JBPD Petaling’s report DO NOT originate from 1 Utama and was not part of the 6,000 mass testing that we conducted,” 1 Utama wrote in a statement.
“They are in fact outsourced contract guards from a third party service provider where covid was contracted through a dormitory and not within our premises.”
“When we were initially informed by KKM of one guard being positive through their tracing we removed all guards under his company for re-testing and to only re-deploy after cleared although all guards were all tested when they were first assigned.”
The mall says that there are only a total of 22 cases including the first security guard that tested positive at their premises.
Following the dispute, JBPD then issued an updated statement and they now claim that the number of positive cases stemming from 1 Utama had risen to 105 cases.
They said this includes 79 security guards, 18 cleaners, 8 tenants (1 C&C Cookies, 1 Daiso, 6 Teh Tarik Place).
The mall has yet to address the latest figure disclosed by the committee.
Who's right and who's wrong?
We're not sure either but we hope that the Health Ministry will step forward and clarify the matter soon.
In the meantime, maybe just stay away from all shopping malls for now k. Stay safe everyone!