MoH mulls shorter quarantine period for foreigners

by HARIZAH KAMEL/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
 
THE Health Ministry (MoH) are in the process of reviewing more current data on whether to shorten the mandatory quarantine period for foreigners entering Malaysia. 
 
Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry is aware that some countries only impose seven to 10 days quarantine. However, he said for Malaysia to do that, it needs to be substantiated with data and the possible risks as well.
 
Dr Noor Hisham also said Malaysia will embark on a Phase 3 clinical trial using an inactivated virus vaccine developed by the Institute of Medical Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing.  
 
He said the vaccine is safe and has good results as well as able to elicit antibody response following its Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trial. 
 
“Now we are embarking on a Phase 3 clinical trial in our population. By doing so, because we have a diverse population here, we want to see the effects of the vaccine in our population,” he said in his daily briefing today. 
 
The study is registered under the National Medical Research Registry and will be conducted by a principal investigator from MoH with assistance of a local clinical research organisation.  
 
The clinical trial would be conducted in Hospital Ampang, Hospital Umum Sarawak, Hospital Sungai Buloh, Hospital Pulau Pinang, Hospital Seberang Jaya, Hospital Taiping, Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah and Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun. 
 
MoH said the study will begin either during the end of this month or next year with an estimated 3,000 participants from the eight hospitals mentioned above. 
 
Malaysia reported 1,141 new daily cases, of which only three were import cases. This brought the total number of positive Covid-19 cases to 70,236 while the number of active cases is 10,799. 
 
The Klang Valley reported a total of 578 cases daily. Selangor and Sabah each reported the highest number of daily cases at 320, followed by Kuala Lumpur with 256 cases. 
 
A total of 32 cases reported were related to clusters in the Temporary Detention Center (PTS) and prisons involving the Tembok Cluster (18 cases), Jalan Harapan Prison Cluster (six cases), Bakti Cluster (four cases), Cluster PTS Sibuga (three cases) and Reman Prison Cluster (one case). 
 
No deaths were reported today, making the country’s total number of deaths to remain 376 cases. To date, there are 129 cases being treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), of which 53 require respiratory assistance.  
 
Eight new clusters were identified namely the Muda Construction Site Cluster, Galeri Construction Site Cluster, Bukit Dalam Cluster, Cempaka Cluster, Sungai Cincin Cluster, Huma Cluster, Jalan Genting Cluster, and Atabara Cluster. 
 
However, four clusters have ended namely the BandaranCluster, Kolong Cluster, Ramai-ramai Cluster and Sentral Cluster.  
 
The clusters that reported the highest increase in new cases were the Puteh Lama Construction Site Cluster (159 cases), Teratai Cluster (62 cases) and the Damanlela Construction Site Cluster (58 cases).