Medan 88 residents who left before EMCO urged to get tested

PETALING JAYA: Residents of Medan 88 in Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi who fled the area before it came under the enhanced movement control order should come forward to undergo Covid-19 screening, said Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The Health director-general said it was better for residents to be screened by the Health Ministry for free, instead of going for private screening.

“If they undergo screening themselves, they may have to pay a fee of at least RM300, when this cost could have been borne by the Health Ministry,” he said at a Covid-19 press conference yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham also said authorities cannot announce too early if an area will be placed under enhanced MCO as residents may leave the area after the announcement is made.

“However, the announcement was made (beforehand) because there may be people who were staying at the hotels there who may later be trapped for 14 days,” he said when answering a question on why authorities have chosen to announce the areas that will be placed under enhanced MCO before the area is sealed off using barbed wire.

He also noted that the area has many foreign workers and that it was likely that the residents who had fled the area were illegal immigrants.

Dr Noor Hisham also said that the ministry will continuously improve methods for active case detection.

Citing an example, he said those who return to Kelantan from the Klang Valley with a permit are to put on wrist bands with different colours for identification.

“Wearing the wrist band is compulsory with the orange band meant for those who have to undergo 14-day home quarantine while the green band is for those who travel to attend business matters and meetings.

“They are not allowed to travel elsewhere,” he said.

He also pointed out the ministry’s concern about rising cases in the Klang Valley warranted stronger and active tracing.

“Our worry is the high population density and frequent movement of people from one place to another.

“For example, those who go out from Sabah red zones to other places have to go for testing.

“But for red zones in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, we cannot control six million people from going in and out.

“Those who are infected will spread the disease when they go to green zones,” he said, adding that the conditional MCO was implemented to limit travel.

Dr Noor Hisham noted that states with improved situations may see the conditional MCO, which is until Dec 6, ending earlier.

“Although it is implemented for a month, we will review after two weeks.

“States such as Kedah, Perak, Melaka and Johor – if there’s good progress there, maybe we will end the conditional MCO earlier,” he said.

Malaysia recorded 919 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, with one more fatality, a 66-year-old man from Sabah.

Sabah saw 319 new infections, while Negri Sembilan and Klang Valley each saw 240 new cases and 224 new cases, respectively.

There were 996 recorded recoveries, although there were 92 people being treated at intensive care units, with 35 requiring ventilator support.

Dr Noor Hisham also said three clusters have ended in Sabah, Kedah and Penang, while a new cluster, the Teluk cluster, was identified in Sabah.

Meanwhile, he also reminded Malaysians to be wary of non-communicable diseases (NCD) in conjunction with World Diabetes Day tomorrow, which also falls on Deepavali.

He said nurses play an important role in the prevention, screening, treatment and recovery of diabetes.

“As we are fighting Covid-19, we have to remember that NCDs must be controlled too,” he said, adding that 3.8 million Malaysians are diabetic.

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