Health DG: Interstate travel only for important matters


THE Health Ministry (MoH) is urging people to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and avoid interstate travel unless there are important matters.

Even so, permits must be obtained from the police.

Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (picture) said although the country is seeing a downtrend in Covid-19 cases, citizens should avoid interstate travel unless they need to attend to important matters.

“Only states that are undergoing the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) are allowed to travel interstate via the travel bubble where tourists can go from one RMCO state to another state of the same status,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham said between Jan 1 and March 21, 2021, there were 3,170 cases which were caused by interstate travel, also known as import B cases.

“Three states that recorded the highest import B cases were Kedah with 714 cases, Perak with 582 and Negri Sembilan at 370,” he said.

The country yesterday recorded 1,327 new Covid-19 cases, while the recovery rate was slightly lower at 1,247.

Out of the total, 1,316 cases were locally transmitted while 11 cases were imported.

“This brings the total number of active cases to 14,518, and the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases in the country to 333,040.

“A total of 154 patients were admitted to the intensive care unit with 65 patients on the ventilator aid,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

Selangor recorded the highest number of daily cases yesterday with 356, followed by Sarawak with 276 cases and Penang with 205 cases.

There were also four Covid-19 deaths, one each in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak and Sarawak. The deceased were all Malaysian citizens.

Five new clusters were identified, while 10 have ended, making the total current active clusters at 416.

The new clusters were from four workplaces; two in Johor, one in Selangor and one in Penang, and one community cluster in Sabah.

Separately, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Keningau, Sabah, has been placed under the MCO until April 4, 2021, after 42 new Covid-19 cases were detected through a targeted screening at Kampung Lingkudau.

Ismail Sabri said the MCO would make it easier for the MoH to run more tests in the location.

“Meanwhile, the Enhanced MCO placed on Kampung Tanah Merah, Kota Marudu in Sabah, will end on schedule tomorrow (today),” he said in the daily MCO update statement yesterday.

To date, the MoH has performed 65 screening tests in the locality where 26 positive cases were found, and the current samples within the locality are seeing downtrends, marking a controlled cluster.

Ismail Sabri said on Saturday, 100 individuals were detained nationwide for violating MCO SOPs.

“Out of the total, 97 were compounded while three were remanded,” he said.

Among the recorded offences were failure to comply with physical distancing (48), failure to record customer details (27), activities at entertainment centres (12), failure to wear face masks (11) and interstate travel without permission (2).

As many as 3,197 foreign workers underwent the screening test on Saturday, out of which 12 were confirmed positive for Covid-19.

In total, the number of foreign workers who underwent screenings was 637,279 cumulatively, involving 32,973 employers.

Out of the total, 9,947 were confirmed positive for Covid-19 while 627,332 were negative.