Stepping up virus vigilance

TWO hotels and three training institutes in Penang have been designated as quarantine centres following the mandatory quarantine imposition for all incoming travellers to Malaysia.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said a week ago, the state received instructions to de-gazette all the quarantine centres set up at the start of the movement control order (MCO).

“Now we have to re-gazette some of them. At the moment, we prepared two hotels and three training institutes.

“As they have yet to be gazetted, I cannot reveal the names of the hotels, but they are in Tanjung Bungah, ” he said.

“We will have to look at the number of people arriving from abroad to see if we need more centres.

“Then only will we look into gazetting more training institutes and government institutions as quarantine centres, ” he said.

Chow was speaking to reporters after launching an exhibition titled, ‘The death and life of Hokkien: How an ideology wiped out your language’ held at Seh Tek Tong Cheah Kongsi in Armenian Street.

He was commenting on the state’s preparations for the newly imposed mandatory quarantine for international travellers.

Chow said since June 18, international flights were allowed into Malaysia to bring back Malaysians and some foreigners with special permission.

“A total of 567 people arrived at Penang International Airport since then.

“They are mainly from three nations — Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia.

“Basically, the travellers are all Malaysians returning from those countries.

“Medical tourism is not fully open.

“I think the government is still looking into the standard operating procedures (SOP) for it.

“I am sure they will inform us once a decision is made, ” he said.

Chow said he chaired a state safety committee meeting on Covid-19, where various departments gave updates on the current situation.

It was reported that all travellers coming into Malaysia would have to undergo mandatory quarantine effective last Friday.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob reminded the public that the ruling applied to both Malaysians and non-

citizens who had been allowed to come in, with the full cost of the quarantine being borne by the returnees.

The Health Ministry discovered that 50% of those who underwent home quarantine earlier did not follow the SOP.

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