With no takers, offer of health screening amnesty for illegals ends


PUTRAJAYA: The offer of “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants to come forward and get tested for Covid-19 has ended, says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic).

“What was announced earlier, which I had myself announced, was an offer for them to come forward for screening and no action would be taken against them.

“However, none came forward and the offer ended, ” he said during a press conference yesterday.

He said immigration authorities would carry out operations as normal to trace and detain undocumented immigrants.

“The illegal immigrants will be detained at detention centres.

“Those who test positive for the virus will be sent for treatment while those who test negative will be deported back.

“This is how we are doing it now, ” he said.

On March 22, Ismail Sabri gave an assurance that the government had agreed not to look into the legal status of foreigners or take action against them for being in the country without legal status during the Covid-19 screening.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said that there were currently 14,585 persons under surveillance in 187 quarantine centres.

He added that 1,972 Malaysians had returned to the country, bringing the total number of those returning home from abroad to 46,859 since April 3.

Of this, he said that 36,128 Malaysians were allowed to go home after undergoing the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

On a separate matter, Ismail Sabri warned state football associations not to issue approval for the resumption of soccer matches after the current conditional movement control order (MCO) comes to an end on June 9.He said discussions were being held with the Football Association of Malaysia and Ministry of Health to determine what measures must be in place, if local football leagues were to restart.

But the respective state football associations could draft up their own standard operating procedure while waiting for a final decision from the government, he said.

The government has eased restrictions for non-contact sports under the conditional MCO such as jogging, badminton and golf.

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