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KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 19 — Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today said that the government’s move to quarantine all returning Malaysians from overseas was the right one as 17 of them had tested positive for Covid-19.
He said the move which was unpopular, when announced during phase two of the movement control order (MCO) from April 1-14, is now a lifesaver as many other countries did not adopt the same policy, which resulted in catastrophic results.
According to Ismail, during their daily ministerial briefings a few days ago with Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah they were told that the trend of positive cases was receding.
“This clearly shows that the government’s action to call the second MCO and quarantine those returning from overseas was the right move,” said Ismail during his daily security briefings on Covid-19.
“Many of the other countries who did not quarantine their citizens but rather allowed them to self-quarantine resulted in a spike in cases.
“From the report, we found that 17 among the overseas returnees were found positive for Covid-19. Just imagine what would have happened if we allowed them to return to their homes,” he said.
Malaysians who returned from abroad are placed under the mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated hotels with no charges.
The government instead set a budget aside with a rate of RM150 a day to which the hotels have agreed to.
Some of those in these hotels had complained about the isolation and the inability to order food delivery.
“Can you imagine what would have happened if these 17 went back home and self quarantined?” Ismail asked.
“They would have definitely infected their family members and when these family members go out to the supermarkets or wet markets or even grocery stores they in hand would infect others.
“Then we would be seeing a new cluster of outbreaks resulting from Malaysians returning from abroad. So please, I implore all Malaysian’s to please adhere to the MCO rules so together we can break this chain of infection,” he said.