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Putrajaya to abandon home quarantine from July 24, reverts to specialised centres
Published:  Jul 21, 2020 6:30 AM
Updated: 8:32 AM

CORONAVIRUS | Returning Malaysians and non-citizens permitted to enter the country will once more be made to undergo mandatory two-week quarantine at specified quarantine centres from Friday, July 24.

Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob today said the government has decided to revoke the allowance for those entering the country to self-quarantine at home.

Speaking during his press briefing in Putrajaya today, the defence minister said the uptick in global Covid-19 cases over the past few days contributed to the increase in the number of domestic cases as Malaysians returned from abroad.

There were also concerns that many citizens were not adhering to the stipulated standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the recovery movement control order (MCO), including those undergoing mandatory quarantine.

This comes as new Covid-19 clusters have begun to emerge in recent days and the Perak Health Department is working to track down a woman who was said to have breached the Covid-19 house surveillance order.

"Their stubborn attitude is increasing the risk of local transmission...Their actions are irresponsible and authorities will take strict action including issuing a compound of RM1,000 or charging them in court which could result in a jail term not exceeding six months.

"As such, the special minister's meeting on implementation of the MCO decided to make it mandatory for foreigners or Malaysian citizens returning from abroad to quarantine at quarantine stations set up by the government, beginning Friday, July 24," the minister said.

As such, Malaysians returning to the country will no longer need to undergo Covid-19 testing prior to departing from their country of origin. Non-citizens are still required to do so.

All those to be quarantined will have to bear the full cost of quarantine services. Ismail Sabri said the Health Ministry and National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) are working to identify appropriate public training institutes and hotels to be made quarantine stations as soon as possible.

Between June 10 to July 20, up to 22,402 individuals were ordered to undergo a 14-day home quarantine while 78 others were taken to hospitals.

Currently, the novel coronavirus has infected over 14 million people worldwide, with a million cases being reported in the span of just over four days.

The disease, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has killed over 590,000. To date, Malaysia has recorded over 8,800 cases with 122 active cases and 123 deaths as of yesterday, June 20.

Meanwhile, on the decision to allow foreign medical tourists to enter the country via commercial flights for treatment, Ismail stressed the matter still depended on various countries' stipulation for cross-country travel.

The ruling applied to medical tourists from green zones such as Brunei, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

"It depends on the discussion between the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the countries involved on their respective permission to travel across borders," he said.

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