by NURUL SUHAIDI / pic by TMR FILE
MORE hotels in the Klang Valley should be converted into low-risk quarantine centres as a new strategy to reduce overcrowding at the public quarantine centres, said Bangi MP Dr Ong Kian Ming (picture).
This includes making additional low-cost hotels available to Covid-19 patients with different price points as the patients will bear the cost themselves.
In a statement yesterday, Ong said several hotels in the Klang Valley have already been turned into low-risk quarantine centres and demand remains high with some hotels already reaching 100% occupancy.
Among the hotels that have been turned into low-risk quarantine centres include Saujana Subang, Royal Chulan Kuala Lumpur, Silka Cheras and most recently, a resort hotel in Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor.
However, he highlighted that the hotels must have at least 50 rooms to be useful to healthcare organisations and professionals attending to patients in such centres.
“This approach will alleviate the burden on our healthcare professionals and other frontliners during this crucial time in fighting Covid-19.
“It is time to change the Covid-19 assessment procedure so that non-serious (Category 1 and 2) cases are reviewed at home via video or telephone calls and quarantined at home or at low-risk quarantine centres if they want,” he added.
These low-risk quarantine centres must be supported by medical staff who are part of the ecosystem of such centres and adhere to the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) guidelines.
Additionally, in light of the hotel industry’s forced closure, this should be viewed as a means to assist the hotel sector.
Ong also urged the MoH to immediately issue the necessary instructions so that district health offices can prioritise this as part and parcel of the larger strategy to control the impact of Covid-19 in Selangor.
“The approval for the setting up of these centres comes from the district officers, but requires the buy-in of other government ministries and agencies such as the MoH and the National Disaster Management Agency,” he said.