New SOP for Malaysians returning from Singapore via Johor’s two land checkpoints, says state rep

A view from the Sultan Iskandar Building’s Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) area towards the Causeway in Johor Baru which is one of the two land checkpoints in Johor that connects to Singapore. — Picture by Ben Tan
A view from the Sultan Iskandar Building’s Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) area towards the Causeway in Johor Baru which is one of the two land checkpoints in Johor that connects to Singapore. — Picture by Ben Tan

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JOHOR BARU, April 24 — The Johor Health Department has introduced a new standard operating procedure (SOP) for entry point management at the state’s two land borders with Singapore at the Sultan Iskandar Building (BSI) and the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (KSAB) as part of the movement control order (MCO).

Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said the new procedure would see returning Malaysians, including permanent residents and long-term pass holders, going through a temperature scan where a health screening will be conducted before being categorised as a Person Under Investigation PUI) or Person Under Surveillance (PUS).

“Depending on their health status, they will either be referred to a hospital or sent to a quarantine centre.

“In the event of the returnee having a fever, the individual entering the country will immediately be referred to a hospital,” said Vidyananthan in a statement today on Johor’s daily Covid-19 update.

Vidyananthan added that the new SOP will render the previous Covid-19 test conducted in Singapore on returnees as void and the home quarantine option unavailable for those who have tested negative.

The new SOP comes following yesterday’s announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that the MCO will be extended for another two weeks, and end on May 12, with the possibility it might be extended beyond Hari Raya Aidilfitri, slated for May 24.

Both the BSI in Johor Baru and KSAB in Gelang Patah are the two land crossings that connect Johor to Singapore.

This also follows the sharp spike in Singapore’s recorded positive Covid-19 cases that registered 1,037 new cases yesterday, bringing the total number of positive cumulative cases in the island republic to 11,187.

Vidyananthan said the Johor government is taking this matter seriously and will continue to ensure that the procedure for entry of Malaysians from Singapore will continue to be monitored through rigorous screening by Ministry of Health (MOH) officials and the Johor Immigration Department personnel.

On a related matter, Vidyananthan said the state government wanted to make clear that its recently announced Johor charity cash aid to assist affected Johoreans following the MCO was meant only for those eligible that do not receive aid of any kind.

He said that under the scheme, a cash payment of RM250 to RM500 will be given to eligible individuals only after assessment.

“However, I find there is confusion among Johoreans regarding the application for such assistance.

“I would like to explain here that the incentive is for those who do not receive any form of assistance from the federal government or state government,” he said.

Vidyananthan, who is also the Kahang assemblyman, said the application forms widely available on social media are not for public distribution, as the Johor government has appointed a representative to identify those who are not receiving any assistance.

He said the appointed representatives, by the local authorities, state assembly office or district office, are those who know the local community and understand those who are affected.

“Those eligible to receive the cash aid is subjected to a final assessment by the Johor government’s e-Ihsan system under the state treasury.

“Therefore, I hope this explanation can explain the misunderstanding or confusion that arises,” said Vidyananthan.

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