KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — The government has spent RM115.9 million on designated Covid-19 quarantine centres across the country, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof.
He told Parliament that RM49.6 million of this was spent on hotels that were used as temporary quarantine centres for returnees and the rest on government facilities that were repurposed.
Redzuan reiterated that the RM2,100 charged for returnees serving the mandatory quarantine at one of these facilities represented around half the total cost per person.
“To manage a person in a public institution it costs RM4,700 while for those in the hotel is RM4,100.
“So if you look at it, per person, they only need to pay RM150, which is half of what is spent,” Redzuan told the Parliament today.
He was responding to DAP’s Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim who asked if the RM2,100 was the maximum a returnee would be charged.
Sim also asked if there were fee exemptions for lower income groups, students and the disabled.
Redzuan confirmed that there were exemptions for Malaysians in the B40 income group and the disabled but not expressly for students.
“As for students, if their parents are from high income groups, they will not be eligible for this exemption.
“We only want to help those who really need the exemption as I have said before, we have spent a lot, and we want to prevent any more large or extra spending.
“So we need to ensure that the aid (exemption) is targeted (to only those who need it),” he said.
Redzuan told Sim he could not provide a complete breakdown of the RM2,100 cost at the moment but assured the MP that this would come in a written reply later.
The minister also clarified that there 21 contractors engaged under the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) that has spent RM2.12 million with them.
Commenting separately about an incident that Ahmad Fadhil Shaari (PAS-Pasir Mas) flagged about 100 students who returned from Yemen and were not allowed to check in to their quarantine centre without a deposit, he said the matter has been resolved.
“The reason why they had to wait was to streamline information to determine who can afford to pay, and those who cannot afford to pay,” said Redzuan.
The government decided to reimpose the mandatory quarantine in light of the Covid-19 outbreak in designated quarantine centres last July after returnees broke rules of home quarantine and were found in the public.