Health DG: Centres needed because 15% did not comply with home quarantine

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians returning from abroad have to be quarantined at special centres as up to 15% did not comply with home quarantine orders.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic) said the Health Ministry had found positive cases in Malaysia spread locally by those who came back from overseas.

For this reason, the government had instructed all Malaysians returning to the country from April 3 to be whisked away to quarantine centres immediately after their arrival at airports.

“We have identified 364 quarantine centres to put up these returning Malaysians. We find that when we ask people to do home quarantine, the compliance rate is about 75% to 80% because there are people who are supposed to stay at home but still go out.

“So now, we will put them at a special place for 14 days, ” said Dr Noor Hisham at a press conference here.

Earlier, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the decision to quarantine all returning Malaysians at designated places immediately after arrival.

This is regardless of which country they have arrived from or whether they were on a commercial or specially chartered flight.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry is actively tracing Malaysians who have attended tabligh gatherings in India and Sulawesi in Indonesia.

“Not just in India, we are also looking at a Sulawesi gathering and we are trying to get more information. Those who attended are at a high risk. We have identified 87 names of those who attended and we are tracing them with help from the police, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.

In India, authorities have expressed concern that a religious congregation on Mar 13 to 15 had become a new Covid-19 cluster in the country, after several people who attended have died from the disease.

It is reported that Malaysians were among the 2,000 delegates that attended the event.

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