MOH plans to put returnees in quarantine centres, hotels


The Health Ministry (MoH) will look into the possibility of placing individuals who need to undergo Home Surveillance Order in quarantine centres or hotels.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this approach was being targeted for those returning from high-risk areas and those who do not have a conducive environment at home for quarantine purposes.

“I think we are looking into it but, more importantly, they must do the test before they board the plane. If necessary, we will repeat the test upon arrival,” he told reporters at a daily media briefing on COVID-19 here today.

He said current policy stated that Malaysian returnees had to do the Rapid Test Kit Antigen (RTK-Ag), or COVID-19 test, three days before departure.

“At least we’ll know they are negative before they board the plane, otherwise we have to screen everyone in the plane.

“Upon arrival, if the test is more than three days’ old, we will repeat the test at KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport). If they are symptomatic, we will straight away isolate and admit them to the hospital while those asymptomatic will still have to undergo the mandatory quarantine at home or hotel,” he said.

Previously, the government announced that Malaysians returning from abroad would no longer have to undergo the 14-day mandatory quarantine at designated centres and could, instead, complete the mandatory quarantine period at their respective homes effective June 10.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said that since the number of new cases was low, and current capacity of COVID-19 screening was below maximum, the MOH would increase screening among the 11 targeted groups and perform random sampling in communities based on locality.

“We will carry out random sampling in certain communities to detect the virus as well as to look into the immunity response of the communities.

“Studies that we have done show that the percentage of infected cases in communities is very low. When it is very low, we need to look back again, take a few steps back, re-strategise and plan in terms of targeting the community,” he said.