PETALING JAYA: New prison inmates and those under remand would be screened for Covid-19 and kept in isolation for 15 days to control the sudden surge of cases in prisons.
Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that even after testing negative on Day 13, the new prisoners would be kept isolated for another five days after the end of the 15-day quarantine.
Even remand-related matters would be conducted via video conferencing to reduce the risk of transmission outside the prison walls.
“These are among the new SOP (standard operating procedure) in place to stop the rapid spread of Covid-19 in prisons, ” he said on Facebook Live yesterday.
He said the bulk of the Covid-19 cases in the country were contained within the prison walls and detention centres.
“But the high number of cases has triggered panic among Malaysians, although the bulk of it was confined within detention centres, ” he added.
The authorities have also barred family visits.
Prison premises are sanitised twice daily.
Physical distancing must be strictly observed when transferring prisoners and only those certified fit to travel and free of symptoms would be allowed into the vehicles.Ismail Sabri also said the Covid-19 crises management committee had been activated in prisons.
Temporary prisons are created to avoid congestion and a base has been created at every prison for health personnel to treat non-critical cases.
“Movements inside the prison are also limited, except for those on kitchen and cleaning duties, ” he added.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri urged the public to stop spreading fake news that claimed 13 Cabinet ministers had been tested positive for Covid-19.
“Action can also be taken against those forwarding this fake news, ” he noted.
Up till yesterday, police and the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission had opened 270 investigation papers related to fake news associated with Covid-19.
“A total of 133 cases are still under investigation. Of the 35 charged in court, 19 pleaded guilty and 12 others were issued warning notices, ” he said in a Facebook post.
Ismail Sabri said the police-led compliance task force had carried out 54,494 checks, including at 3,447 supermarkets, 4,393 restaurants, 1,501 hawkers, 2,454 markets, 3,134 places of worship and 1,254 recreation areas.
Police also took action against 420 individuals for breaching orders, of which 380 were given compound notices.
The offences committed included failure to observe physical distancing (145), failure to wear face masks (117), failure to provide tools or record personal details (96), involved in activities at entertainment centres (26), breaching MCO orders (26), operating premises beyond the stipulated time (six), working without permits (three) and employing foreigners without permits (one).
From July 24 to Oct 7, a total of 43,968 individuals who had returned from abroad had also been placed under mandatory quarantine.
“Currently, 10,302 individuals are quarantined at 68 hotels and 15 other premises, including public and private training institutes nationwide, ” said Ismail Sabri.
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