Sabah Returnees’ 14-Day Quarantine Rule Lifted From Nov 25: Adham

A district health office reportedly gave an 11-day quarantine order to Keningau MP Jeffrey Kitingan’s upon returning to KL from Sabah.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — The government is only eliminating the 14-day quarantine requirement for people returning from Sabah to other parts of the country from tomorrow onwards, Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said today.

The minister’s statement came after the Lembah Pantai district health office, according to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun, imposed only an 11-day quarantine on Keningau MP Jeffrey Kitingan since November 12 and gave the Sabah MP a release order yesterday on November 23.

Opposition MPs questioned the STAR lawmaker’s presence in Parliament today, saying that Kitingan had attended the Sabah state legislative assembly in Kota Kinabalu on November 12.

Dr Adham said today that starting from November 25, arrivals from Sabah are only required to undergo a Covid-19 swab test three days prior to their trip from Sabah to other states in Malaysia.

“If they test positive with Covid-19 or show symptoms, they are not allowed to continue their journey outside Sabah. The positively tested individuals will be referred to hospitals to be isolated and to provide treatment,” Dr Adham said in a statement today.

“Symptomatic people will be referred to undergo a test.”

Those who are permitted to continue their travel outside Sabah will be required to undergo a symptomatic screening to check for fever and other symptoms, to provide a swab test report, and to use the MySejahtera Covid-19 app at airports in West Malaysia, Sarawak and Labuan.

“If they are not symptomatic and the Covid-19 lab test results are confirmed negative, these travelers are not required to undergo compulsory quarantine for 14 days,” Dr Adham said.

Earlier, MOH announced that all individuals returning from Sabah between September 27 (after the Sabah state election) and October 10 would be tested for Covid-19 at the domestic and international gates of airports and issued home quarantine orders with wristbands. They would be released from quarantine once test results were negative.

Starting from October 11, however, all returnees from Sabah were made to undergo compulsory symptomatic screening and Covid-19 tests, as well as mandatory quarantine for 14 days from the day they arrive at the airport.

Dr Adham’s announcement today on the lift of the 14-day quarantine for Sabah arrivals from tomorrow onwards begs the question on why a district health office cut Kitingan’s quarantine short.

According to the minister, the government had discussed this new review for arrivals from Sabah in a National Security Council (NSC) meeting yesterday on November 23, as Covid-19 cases in Sabah have started to decline.

Dr Adham noted that Sabah reported 4,548 Covid-19 cases in the 43rd epidemiological week, dropping by 32.4 per cent to 3,073 cases in the 47th epidemiological week. The Klang Valley, however, recorded a 270 per cent increase in Covid-19 cases from 821 infections reported in the 43rd epidemiological week to 3,041 cases in the 47th week.

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