Dr Noor Hisham announces Covid-19 guidelines and SOPs for Malaysia’s flood relocation centres

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaking at a daily press conference on the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic at the Ministry of Health in Putrajaya July 14, 2020. — Bernama pic
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaking at a daily press conference on the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic at the Ministry of Health in Putrajaya July 14, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — The Health Ministry has developed a series of guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOP) for temporary relocation centres in states currently affected by flash floods.

Its director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said, at present, 18 centres in seven districts situated in Johor, Pahang, Selangor and Melaka currently house 1,267 victims from 303 families.

“The numerous people in the temporary relocation centres poses the risk of Covid-19 spreading among the victims and personnel on duty. Therefore, preventive measures, including social distancing, washing hands with water and soap and coughing etiquette, must be upheld at all times,” he said in a statement.

Dr Noor Hisham added that both flood victims and personnel are advised to avoid crowded and cramped areas, as well as converse while maintaining an appropriate distance with each other during their time at the centre.

“All centres are to set up signs advising safe social distancing in common areas, and prepare soap, water and hand sanitisers as well as ensure they are situated in strategic locations including entry and exit points within and without the centres.

“Dividers, cubicles or tents must be spaced at least two metres apart, and centres must prepare three-ply masks for use by any victims displaying symptoms. Posters on coughing and sneezing etiquette along with hand hygiene should be put up in strategic areas to remind everyone present,” he said.

The director-general also said food should be prepared with individual packaging; centres must ensure victims’ need for clean water and proper sanitation is prepared; and when possible, prepare portable toilets in addition to the existing ones at the centres.

“Frequently-used common areas must be regularly sanitised, special rooms or a space should be prepared to isolate those who display Covid-19 symptoms.

“Flood victims who register with a centre and display symptoms, have a history of close contact, or have just returned from abroad will be placed in the centre’s isolation space,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

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