Tracking device to control movement

PUTRAJAYA: The order to wear a tracking device is among the five new provisions under the Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 which will come into force on March 11, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

He said the high-tech device in the form of a wristband, aimed at controlling movement, was mandatory for three categories, namely individuals tested positive for Covid-19, persons under investigation (PUI) or close contacts of Covid-19 patients; and persons under surveillance (PUS).

“The device is to be worn for 10 days, ” he told a press conference which was also attended by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan at the Health Ministry here yesterday.

A penalty will be imposed if the tracking device is destroyed, damaged, lost or altered.

In addition, a new provision included under the Ordinance is Section 21A to allow the Health director-general to issue general or specific instructions to any individual to implement infection prevention and control measures.

Another new provision is Part IV A on enforcement, which enables powers of investigation to provide information in relation to the prevention and control of infectious diseases.

Section 22A of the new provision will enable corporate bodies to be charged with offences under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

A new Section 31 empowers the authorities to impose penalties under Act 342 for “any offence not stated in it”.

This new subsection will determine any violation as an offence, which provides for a fine not exceeding RM50,000, imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.

“Legal action is not merely a form of punishment but a preventive measure to end the spread of Covid-19 in the country, ” said Dr Adham.

He also added that Malaysia would issue a smart vaccination certificate to people in the country who have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

The certificate will be issued in a month’s time and the matter is being discussed with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to ensure the document is recognised by other countries.

“I have had discussions virtually with WHO on the matter. The certificate will be updated to ensure it meets international standards.

“We will issue the certificate as confirmation that the bearer has been vaccinated against Covid-19, ” he said.

On another matter, Covid-19 vaccination at private hospitals is still under discussion. Right now, only government hospitals provide the vaccination free of charge.

“If private hospitals want to provide the vaccination, they have to use channels such as the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia, Malaysian Medical Association and other associations for the engagement process, ” said Dr Adham.

He expects the matter to be decided during the second phase of the ongoing National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme. The second phase is scheduled for April to August.

Meanwhile, Takiyuddin said some 4,000 personnel from the local authorities and the Road Transport Department (JPJ) would be mobilised to assist the police to monitor SOP compliance.

“The local authorities and JPJ staff have the authority to issue compounds as well as advise those who do not adhere to the SOP. A guideline on the issuance of compounds will be given to the authorities, ” he said. — Bernama

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