Putrajaya releases SOP to curb Covid-19 risks at flood relief centres

A woman is seen at a flood relief centre in Matang, Taiping November 21, 2020. — Bernama pic
A woman is seen at a flood relief centre in Matang, Taiping November 21, 2020. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — The government today announced standard operating procedures (SOPs) to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infections due to cramped conditions at temporary relief centres (PPS) housing flood evacuees.

During a press conference today, Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this included testing all evacuees for Covid-19 and for them to be housed in a way that allowed physical distancing.

“All PPS are to be opened in the same Covid-19 zone or the same movement control order (MCO) area. Or if unavoidable, then it can be opened in a nearby zone,” he said.

He was referring to the Health Ministry’s designation of zones — red, yellow or green — that signify the severity of Covid-19 cases in a locality and the various MCOs that have different restrictions according to which phase they are in — such as the “recovery” or “conditional” phase.

“All PPS are to be outfitted with a MySejahtera QR code, which all officers and evacuees will need to scan to record their entry into the building,” he said.

Evacuees who display symptoms of Covid-19 will be referred to a clinic and placed in an isolated area, he said.

Evacuees at the PPS will be given face masks and will be required to wear the protective equipment at all times, maintain physical distancing and adhere to all other Health Ministry guidelines.

Besides that, packed meals and drinks will be supplied to the evacuees, while all cooking activities at the PPS is not allowed.

The states of Pahang, Terengganu, Johor, Perak, Kelantan, Selangor have all been hit by bad floods, with the worst reportedly in Pahang and Johor.

As of 8am this morning, 13,218 people have evacuated flooded areas in Pahang, while 5,484 evacuees were recorded in Johor.

This high number of evacuees have raised concerns about a possible surge in infections at such centres due to previous Covid-19 clusters that have emerged in locations such as prisons and immigration detention centres where physical distancing was difficult or impossible.

Today, 428 cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Johor, making up 21.2 per cent of the total 2,027 cases recorded in the country for the day.

Pahang, meanwhile, recorded 25 cases.  

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