Covid-19: UK returnees to be monitored closely

by S BIRRUNTHA / Pic by BERNAMA

THE Health Ministry (MoH) will keep a close eye on those returning from the UK, following reports of a mutated and highly infectious strain of the Covid-19 virus found there.

Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the UK is re-implementing strict lockdown rules over the virus mutation which has a 70% increased infection rate.

“We are watching this situation closely. For now, all UK returnees must be tested as usual and they will be required to undergo the 10-day quarantine even if they tested negative.

“However, we will step up our monitoring on those returning from the UK and continue to watch closely the developments of this new virus strain,” he said at a press conference yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham added that several parties have called for Malaysia to ban travellers arriving from the UK.

However, he said Malaysia will not turn away UK returnees and assured that all of them will be put under a strict and compulsory quarantine.

Yesterday, the country recorded 2,018 new Covid-19 cases, involving 2,011 local transmissions and seven imported cases.

Selangor alone recorded 1,204 cases, followed by Johor (278) and Sabah (247).

Eight new clusters were detected in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur (KL), Penang and Labuan.

The clusters are Batu Besar, Pekapuri and Tower in Selangor; Pelangi Construction Site, Wawasan and Delima in KL; May Indah in Penang; and J Bandar in Labuan.

The country’s overall total cases was at 95,327 yesterday, with 16,496 active cases, of which 109 were placed in the intensive care unit with 55 of them requiring respiratory aid.

A total of 1,084 patients were discharged, increasing the total recovered cases in the country to 78,393, which equalled to 82.2%. One death was reported in Sabah yesterday, bringing the country’s overall Covid-19 death toll to 438.

Separately, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Jasin Correctional Centre and staff quarters in Melaka will be placed under Enhanced Movement Control Order from today until Jan 4, 2021.