Selangor launches 1st quarantine transit centre

The centre provides an appropriate setting for those who do not have the means or suitable facilities for at-home quarantine

by LYDIA NATHAN / pic credit: Nestlé

THE Selangor state government together with Nestlé (M) Bhd and Health Ministry introduced the Nestlé Quarantine Transit Station (QTS), the first public-private sector collaboration to launch a Covid-19 quarantine centre, aiming to support people that have come into close contact with Covid-19 positive patients.

The 100-room QTS, located at Pegasus Hotel in Shah Alam, Selangor, is fully paid for by Nestlé and it is available for Nestlé employees and the public.

Pegasus Hotel was selected as a quarantine centre by the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) in 2020 with proven capabilities and strict compliance in handling quarantine cases.

Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari (picture; centre) said Selangor is one of the most affected states due to its population density, while healthcare workers and facilities have already been stretched at full capacity.

He said the idea for the quarantine centre first came about when the number of cases soared between 2,000 to 3,000 daily, which led to the discussion of opening a centre to help curb the spread of the virus.

“The Nestlé QTS will provide an appropriate setting for those who do not have the means or suitable facilities for at-home quarantine. This will include free accommodation, amenities, three nutritious meals a day while adhering to the strict standard operating procedures at all times,” he told reporters at the launch of the centre yesterday.

“The QTS will likely be for patients in stage 1 and 2. This will also free up some space at MAEPS, as healthcare workers are also using the facility for quarantine,” he said.

Amirudin added that relevant bodies that will work together for this initiative include Malaysia Civil Defence Force (APM), the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) and the Covid-19 Assessment Centre (CAC).

“Nestlé has had a 0.001% of infection at its factory from the first Movement Control Order and has a good record at handling the pandemic so far. There is a station set up at the hotel already for the MAF and APM forces. They have been trained and have also had the experience since last year in handling the transits and management of positive tested patients.”

“Since Nestlé has had such a low infection rate, the centre will be predominantly for the public. We will leave it up to CAC and other bodies to access,” Amirudin added.

Meanwhile, Nestlé CEO Juan Aranols (left) said the company has taken a stance from the beginning of the outbreak of the virus with an aim to support the communities, keep people safe and ensure adequate supply of food across the nation.

According to Aranols, QTS will remain open for two months, but the company will adapt to the situation and trend of cases.

“We will see what is needed in two months’ time and if we need to continue. Hopefully, we won’t need to scale up. I cannot comment on the amount invested but it is significant,” he said.

Aranols also said this effort will look at helping the hotel industry since it has been badly hit since the pandemic outbreak.

“It has definitely been hard times for many hotels so we want to put Pegasus Hotel to good use and help support the community. Last year Nestlé channelled RM15 million to pandemic relief efforts and we will continue to do this year with our wide range of initiatives,” he said.