Health Ministry: Returnees may once again be placed in quarantine centres, hotels


PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Health is reconsidering the possibility of placing returnees from high-risk areas, either in hotels or quarantine centres.

Currently, those who test negative upon arrival at the airport can undergo their mandatory 14-day quarantine at home.

However, one recent patient in the "Novgord cluster" was found to be positive after having initially tested negative upon arrival at the airport.

"Now, we are looking into the possibility of quarantine in a centre or hotel for those who do not have a conducive environment at home," Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah told a press conference on Thursday (July 16).

"And for those coming back from a high-risk area, we may consider them putting them up in a quarantine centre or hotel.

"We are looking into that," he added.

He said the more important thing was that those returning must take a test before boarding the plane.

"If need be, we will repeat the test in KLIA upon arrival," he said.

Dr Noor Hisham also said that those who were symptomatic would be admitted to the hospital straight away.

Five cases have been detected in the “Novgorod cluster", with the first case being a Malaysian who returned from Russia on July 5.

He had tested negative for the virus, but then on July 7 began to display symptoms of the disease such as fever and breathing difficulties.

A retest for the disease turned up positive, with one of his family members then also testing positive for Covid-19.

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