Have fun in Langkawi, but keep SOP in mind

LANGKAWI: Holidaymakers are reminded to practise the new norms while vacationing on the island, says Kedah Health Department director Dr Othman Warijo.

He said tourists should wear face masks and practise physical distancing at all times.

He added they should not let their guard down although the Covid-19 pandemic on the island was under control, with fewer than 50 cases reported daily over the past few weeks.

“Tourists must always keep the (tourism) bubble intact and avoid crowded places during their stay on the island.

“You come to the island healthy and must return safely. Please adhere strictly to the rules and regulations,” he said.

Dr Othman said only one vaccination centre on the island is now open as about 90% of Langkawi’s adult population has been fully vaccinated.

He said two out of the nine intensive care unit (ICU) beds at Hospital Sultanah Maliha on the island were currently occupied.

“If there is a need, we will add more beds. We are ready,” he said.

On Wednesday, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri visited Langkawi’s first drive-through large scale Covid-19 (DTC) screening and testing facility.

She also said the decision to make it compulsory for travellers intending to visit Langkawi to undergo screening for Covid-19 before departure is a positive move despite its late announcement causing some confusion.

The decision, she said, was made due to the government’s concern of the risk of a spike in Covid-19 cases in Langkawi.

Located opposite the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre, the facility is meant to support the reopening of the island as a popular tourist destination.

In a statement, Maju Healthcare said the facility would offer comprehensive end-to-end services, from Covid-19 screening to testing.

Maju Group deputy chairman Mohd Faiq Tan Sri Abu Sahid said the group was proud to lead the initiative with its lab partner Gribbles Pathology and medical partner Global Doctors.

The DTC is also the first in Langkawi to have a Covid-19 lab capable of mass testing, of up to 15,000 tests daily.

The facility also offers the fastest RT-PCR results, which can be obtained within the hour, as well as a wide range of other services including fast RTK Antigen (swab/saliva) and antibody tests.

DTC screening services are targeted to be operational next month.

Kedah recorded 1,178 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday.

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