MoH calls for strict border control amid global Covid-19 spike


THE Health Ministry (MoH) hopes that the government will further tighten the country’s borders amid the rise in Covid-19 cases globally, which translates into the increase in imported cases.

Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (picture) said several countries are facing the threat of new waves of Covid-19 transmissions, and the same thing can happen to Malaysia if the people are complacent and underestimate the situation.

“We are still in the Recovery Movement Control Order period, so we do not encourage travel as 188 countries are infected.

“Hopefully, we can tighten our borders inbound and outbound. Our fear, though, is looking at countries that once were doing excellently, like South Korea,” he said in his Covid-19 press conference yesterday.

“If those countries are facing new waves of the outbreak, then Malaysia needs to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best,” he added.

He said the community must always play an active role by fully abiding by Act 342 and all standard operating procedures.

Yesterday, the country recorded 11 new Covid-19 cases involving nine local transmission and two imported cases.

Of the local cases, there were five new cases in the Tawar cluster involving primary school students.

This brings the total number of cases related to the Tawar cluster to 70.

To date, 3,547 individuals in the cluster have been screened involving three states, namely Kedah, Penang and Perak.

For the remaining four local cases, Dr Noor Hisham said two were detected in Kedah, one in Selangor and one in Perlis.

The new cases yesterday brought the country’s overall total to 9,285 with 189 active Covid-19 cases being treated at health facilities nationwide.

Among the active cases yesterday, eight were placed in the intensive care unit with six of them requiring respiratory aid.

Six patients recovered yesterday, increasing the total recovered cases in the country to 8,971 or 96.6% of the total overall cases.

No new deaths recorded yesterday, maintaining the country’s death tally at 125.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said his ministry was not informed of the quarantine breach and RM1,000 compound issue involving Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali.

He added that he and his deputies were not briefed on the issue of the minister flouting his quarantine and they only learned about it through media reports.

He noted that he only received the full report on Aug 24 from its internal investigations over the breach.

“We will leave the matter to the police who are now investigating the issue.

“I would also like to stress that it is important for our frontliners to report whatever happened at the ground level to their superiors, so that we can take the necessary action,” he added.

Mohd Khairuddin was reported to be on an official visit to Turkey from July 3 to July 7, but did not complete the 14-day quarantine, which is mandatory for everyone returning from abroad.