Swab test no longer required for students returning to campus

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK/ pic by ARIF KARTONO

STUDENTS in the higher institutions and boarding schools are no longer required to undergo swab test to return to campus or dormitories, says Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The government, he said, had decided to do so following complaints that students were required to self-finance their Covid-19 tests before being allowed into the campus or the school premise.

“The meeting today has agreed that institutions cannot impose the rule on students to undergo swab tests for their examinations or entering the dorms unless the student is showing symptoms,” he said in a daily Movement Control Order (MCO) briefing today.

Additionally Ismail Sabri also announced that the full MCO will be implemented in the whole state of Kelantan from Jan 16 until Jan 26, after ascertaining that 90% of the state is considered as red and orange zones.

“Seven areas are in red zones, namely Kota Bharu, Bachok, Tumpat, Gua Musang, Machang, Kuala Krai, Tanah Merah, while two areas are in yellow, namely Pasar Puteh and Pasir Mas.

“Jeli is the only area that is considered as an orange zone,” he said.

Similarly, the MCO is also implemented in three areas in Sibu, Sarawak from tomorrow until Jan 29.

Ismail Sabri said between Dec 31, 2020 and Jan 13, 2021, the Health Ministry has found that there has been a drastic increase in cases in 14 days, from two to 251 cases.

“Most of the cases are from the Pasai cluster, recording 394 cases in total.

“The cluster involves 18 long houses that are scattered across Sibu,” he said.

Starting tomorrow, the minister warned that the police will take an immediate action against anyone who violates the MCO rules.

“On Jan 14, the police have detained 514 individuals for breaching the SOP, and out of the total 495 have been compounded, 18 remanded and one was bailed,” he said.

954 individuals have returned home from international borders and are undergoing mandatory quarantine, making the total of 8,071 individuals who are isolated in 80 hotels and 16 institutions.

540 out of them have been brought to the hospital, while 95,673 were allowed to return home.

Yesterday, 36 construction sites were inspected and 31 are still operating while five are no longer operating, where out of the total currently operating, 28 were found to be SOP-compliant, one was warned and two were ordered for closure.

To-date, 153,585 foreign workers have undergone Covid-19 screening test, involving 5,697 employers.