Health minister announces provision for electronic surveillance of Covid-19 patients, close contacts

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba during a press conference in the presence of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan at the Health Ministry March 3, 2021. — Bernama pic
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba during a press conference in the presence of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan at the Health Ministry March 3, 2021. — Bernama pic

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PUTRAJAYA, March 3 — The order to wear a tracking device is among the five new provisions under the Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 which will come into force on March 11, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

He said the high-tech device in the form of a wristband, aimed at controlling movement is mandatory for three categories, namely individuals tested positive for Covid-19, persons under investigation (PUI) or close contacts of Covid-19 patients; and persons under surveillance (PUS).

 “The device is to be worn for 10 days,” he told a press conference in the presence of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan, at the Health Ministry (MOH) here, today.

Dr Adham said a penalty would be imposed if the tracking device is destroyed, damaged, lost or altered.

In addition he said, a new provision included under the ordinance was Section 21A to allow the Health director-general to issue general or specific instructions to any individual to implement infection prevention and control measures.

Another new provision is Part IV A on enforcement, enables powers of investigation to provide information in relation to the prevention and control of infectious diseases, he said.

Section 22A of the new provision will enable corporate bodies to be charged with offences under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342.

A new Section 31 empowers the authorities to impose penalties under Act 342 for “any offence not stated in it”.

This new subsection will determine any action which is a violation as an offence, which provides a fine not exceeding RM50,000, or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.

“Legal action is not merely a form of punishment but as a preventive measure to end the spread of Covid-19 in the country,” said Dr Adham.

Meanwhile, Takiyuddin said some 4,000 personnel from the local authorities (PBT) and the Road Transport Department (RTD) would be mobilised to assist the police to monitor that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the National Security Council and the Malaysian Ministry of Health are complied with.

“The PBT and RTD staff have the authority to issue compounds as well as advise those who do not adhere to the SOPs.  A guideline on the issuance of compounds will be given to the authorities,” he said. — Bernama

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