Fully-vaccinated citizens, travellers must strictly abide quarantine order

The govt recently allowed fully vaccinated individuals to undergo home quarantine upon their arrival in Malaysia

by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by BERNAMA

HEALTH experts opined that Malaysians and travellers who are entering the country must strictly follow the self-quarantine order amid the deadlier Covid-19 variants rampage.

Caretaker Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recently announced several relaxations of Covid-19 restrictions for those who have been fully vaccinated including overseas travellers coming to Malaysia or Malaysians returning from abroad, will be allowed to self-quarantine at home.

Malaysian Public Health Physicians’ Association president Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said as the government has now given the relaxation, it is now up to the individual and community to take extra caution.

“This is because, on top of the dominant nature of the Delta variant, cases are still large in numbers, our vaccination coverage is still less than 40% and health facilities still overburdened.

“Home quarantine for overseas returnees or travellers maybe is not a good decision, nonetheless they have to practice strict individual standard operating procedures,” he said to The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) recently.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Integrated Medical Professionals Association president Dr Muhamad Hazizi Muhamad Hasani told TMR that he is in line with the decision where travellers who are allowed to self-quarantine at home are fully vaccinated and proper monitoring system is in place to ensure they abide to the quarantine order until complete.

“It is fair for the travellers to be given responsibility and allowed for home quarantine. We are already allowing close contacts to positive cases to be quarantined at home thus, it is reasonable for those coming back from overseas to be given that option too.

“Of course, they will also be given another option to undergo quarantine in designated quarantine centres, in case their house is not suitable for quarantine due to crowded, too cramped or no adequate amenities,” he said.

Dr Muhammad Hazizi pointed out that as Malaysia is already in the mitigation phase, the main focus now is to prevent mortality and morbidity resulting from Covid-19 infection.

“Therefore, it is up to the citizens, locals and non-locals, to be responsible and work together with the authorities in the fight against this pandemic,” he added.

In the wake of new variances emerging globally, Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also raised awareness on the Lambda variant via his Facebook page earlier this month.

Citing a report by The Japan Times, Dr Noor Hisham posted that Japan has confirmed its first case of the Lambda variant infection, first identified in Peru, in an analysis by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

“The variant was detected in a woman in her 30s at Haneda Airport who arrived from Peru on July 20, the Japanese health ministry said. She tested positive for the coronavirus in a quarantine check at the airport, with no symptoms.

“Compared with the conventional strain, the variant may be more infectious and have stronger resistance to vaccines, but its details are not known, the institute said,” the health DG said.

As of now, no reports of the Lambda variant have been detected in Malaysia.