PUTRAJAYA • Malaysians returning from overseas will be able to self-isolate at home, instead of at government-approved quarantine centres nationwide.
Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that from tomorrow, returnees will undergo a swab test upon arrival at airports.
“If they test positive for Covid-19, they will be sent to hospitals for treatment,” he said on Sunday. “However, if the result is negative, they will be allowed to go home to undergo the compulsory 14-day quarantine.”
The returnees, he said, must download the MySejahtera app that would be used to monitor their compliance with quarantine rules. “It is also mandatory for them to wear a quarantine wristband for identification,” Datuk Seri Ismail said.
“Anyone who fails to adhere to the compulsory quarantine requirements and SOP (standard operating procedures) will be brought to court and fined RM1,000 (S$326).”
The decision on home quarantine for Malaysian returnees was made after taking into account the rate of Covid-19 infection in other countries, which has been under control, he added.
“The government has also been able to increase its capacity to conduct Covid-19 screenings at international entry points,” he said.
Compliance with the compulsory 14-day quarantine will be monitored by the authorities via the MySejahtera app, he added.
Asked whether there is a proper waiting area for the returnees should the swab tests at airports take a long time, the minister said that under the rapid test kit antigen (RTK Antigen) method, results could be obtained within one to two hours.
“If it is a longer wait, we will place the returnees at quarantine centres, pending test results.”
On Sunday, 156 quarantine centres were operational, Mr Ismail said, adding: “On Saturday, 37 Malaysians returned to the country and were placed under mandatory quarantine,” he said.
Since the government-mandated quarantine at designated centres was implemented on April 3, 50,873 Malaysians had been placed under quarantine after they returned to the country from abroad. Of the total, 40,805 Malaysians have completed their quarantine and have been allowed to go home.
Meanwhile, the health authorities yesterday reported seven new coronavirus cases, the lowest daily increase since movement and business curbs were imposed three months ago.
The new cases raised the cumulative total to 8,329 cases.
The health ministry also reported no new deaths, keeping total fatalities at 117.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, REUTERS