DAP man urges nod for more hotels be converted into Covid-19 low-risk quarantine centres

A health worker speaks to a patient at the Covid-19 Low-Risk Quarantine and Treatment Centre at the Malaysia Agriculture Expo Park in Serdang May 19, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
A health worker speaks to a patient at the Covid-19 Low-Risk Quarantine and Treatment Centre at the Malaysia Agriculture Expo Park in Serdang May 19, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — Bangi DAP MP Ong Kian Ming today urged the government to convert more hotels into Covid-19 Low-Risk Patient Quarantine and Treatment Centres (PKRC).

Ong said while a few hotels in Klang Valley have been converted into quarantine centres, more hotels should follow suit as the demand for such centres remains high. 

“More hotels in the Klang Valley should be allowed to be converted into these low-risk quarantine centers, including budget hotels, to cater for different price points for the patients. 

“Based on experience in seeing the application and approval process for the hotel resort in Bangi to be converted into such a quarantine centre, I have had three budget hotel operators approach me to find out more details,” he said in a statement today.

He said these converted quarantine centres must be supported by medical staff who are part of the ecosystem and costs should covered by the patients themselves.

“These hotels must also have a minimum number of rooms (at least 50, in my own estimate) for it to be worthwhile for the health care organisations and staff who are providing medical services to the patients in such centers. 

“The Ministry of Health (MoH) has prepared guidelines on the medical processes that need to be carried out at the centers to take care of the well-being of these patients,” he added.

He also mentioned that such efforts can avoid overcrowding quarantine centres such as MAEPS Serdang, while providing peace of mind to family members who prefer to be quarantined in a hotel rather than to be at home where they may expose their family members to the virus.

Previously, hotels in Penang that have been severely impacted by the movement control order (MCO) and the Covid-19 pandemic have applied to be converted into Covid-19 Low-Risk Patient Quarantine and Treatment Centres (PKRC).

Penang’s Tourism and Creative Economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said several hotels have submitted their applications to the state government.

Last week it was reported that hospitals in the national capital, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Labuan have exceeded their maximum limits in treating Covid-19 patients, data from the Health Ministry released show.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said those four states showed an average of more than 37 daily Covid-19 cases per 100,000 and an average 2.6 per cent increase for the past week.

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