PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian government has decided to reimpose compulsory quarantine at designated centres for people entering the country starting Friday (Jul 24).
In a press conference on Tuesday, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision was made following a special meeting with ministers as it was found that many have flouted home quarantine.
“The government views the non-compliance of home quarantine very seriously as this has resulted in further spread of the COVID-19 virus to their families and the community surrounding them.
“Their actions are extremely irresponsible and the authorities can take serious action on them including imposing a fine of RM 1,000 (US$235)," he said.
The mandatory quarantine at government facilities applies to both Malaysians and foreigners, he added.
Mr Ismail Sabri, who is also Defence Minister, also said that the cost required for the accommodation during the period of quarantine in quarantine centres or hotels will have to be borne by each individual.
He added that the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) and the Ministry of Health will identify and allocate hotels and locations for quarantine.
Mr Ismail Sabri also said that following the decision, Malaysians returning from overseas no longer have to undergo swab tests at the country of departure three days before their flight.
However, it is still a requirement for foreigners entering the country.
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On Jun 7, the government had announced that Malaysians returning from abroad no longer needed to undergo quarantine in hotels or gazetted quarantine centres should they test negative for the virus.
They were only required to undergo home quarantine starting Jun 10.
Mr Ismail Sabri said on Tuesday that a total of 22,480 people have returned to Malaysia through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Jun 10 to Jul 20.
“Of that 22,402 were ordered to undergo home quarantine while 78 others were brought to the hospital.
“On Jul 20, a total of 403 Malaysians have returned and all of them have been ordered to undergo home quarantine as well,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has earlier detected five COVID-19 cases in the in the "Novgorod cluster" where the first case was a Malaysian who had returned from Russia on Jul 5.
Despite having tested negative, the individual had shown symptoms on Jul 7 and a second test showed that he was positive for COVID-19. Soon after a member of his family had also tested positive for the virus.