Epidemiological Investigation of a COVID-19 Community Cluster in Kedah, Malaysia

Document Type : Original Article


1 Kubang Pasu District Health Office, Ministry of Health, Jitra, Kedah, Malaysia

2 Clinical Research Centre, Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, Ministry of Health, KM6, Jalan Langgar, Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia

3 Napoh Health Clinic, Ministry of Health, Hosba Kubang Pasu, Jitra, Kedah, Malaysia

4 Laka Temin Health Clinic, Ministry of Health, Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah, Malaysia

5 Communicable Disease Unit, Kedah State Health Department, Ministry of Health, Simpang Kuala, Jalan Kuala Kedah, Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia



Introduction: A cluster of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) linked to an international traveller was reported in Kedah, Malaysia in July 2020. This study aimed to report data of a local community cluster of COVID-19 with a view to document the lessons learnt and to identify key points for future containment strategy in response of the ongoing pandemic.
Methods: Epidemiological and clinical data from individuals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 within this cluster were collected via interviews and in-patient medical records. All data were analysed, and socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of all cases were presented.
Results: Total of 31 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed and linked epidemiologically in Kedah state. The index case was identified and reported to breach quarantine order for international traveller given by health authority. The virus transmission widely spread among family members, restaurant customers and later in the community.
Conclusion: Non-adherence to the preventive measures is the driving factor for the widespread of this cluster infection. Active contact tracing, aggressive containment measures, and effective risk communication are important to control the virus transmission in this locality.