Author: JULIA CHAN
KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — Beginning April 3, Malaysians returning from abroad will be brought by the authorities straight to quarantine centres from the airport to undergo their compulsory 14-day quarantine at designed centres.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the new procedure will begin for any Malaysian returning from overseas regardless of whether their flight was a chartered or commercial one to prevent the risk of spreading Covid-19.
“When they arrive at the airport, they will be taken by bus immediately to one of the designated quarantine centres, where they will be screened according to our (standard operating procedure) as set by the Health Ministry and National Security Council.
“We advise all family members not to travel to the airport to welcome their child, parent or relative home because they will be sent straight to the quarantine centre,” said Ismail Sabri during a press conference here today.
Ismail Sabri said many countries experienced a surge in Covid-19 cases as their citizens abroad returned, including Wuhan in China, ground zero for the pandemic that was under control until their citizens started returning.
“We realise many of our people are stranded outside the country and they want to return. Some were brought home on chartered flights. Even though we have advised those living abroad who have the means, not to return; we understand and we want to contain the possible risk of the disease from spreading thats why we have to send them straight to the quarantine centres.
“In this modern day and age, parents can still call their children and keep in touch. Yes, they may be separated for the 14 days, but they will still have contact with their families,” he said.
Previously, only those with Covid-19 symptoms were quarantined for 14 days at MOH centres while others were asked to self-isolate at home, depending on their city of origin or health status.