Health Ministry assures public Rohingya refugees in Langkawi isolated, being tested

Jerry Choong
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah giving a press conference on Covid-19 in MOH , Putrajaya. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PUTRAJAYA, April 6 — The Ministry of Health has confirmed today that around 250 Rohingya refugees who landed at Langkawi, Kedah will be tested for Covid-19, following concerns from the public.

Its director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the refugees, who reached the island’s shores near Langkawi’s Ritz Carlton Hotel early yesterday morning, have already been isolated.

“We have isolated them and are currently carrying out testing and screening for Covid-19,” he said during the daily ministry press conference.

A villager living nearby the beach had alerted the police and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency of the incident, who then cordoned off the refugees at the beach.

Separately, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry has stressed the importance of strengthening Malaysia’s borders during its meeting with the National Security Council last week.

“We brought this up with the Armed Forces, in terms of keeping our entry points, airports, and borders secure. They have promised us that all entry points into Malaysia have been strengthened.

“More importantly, those coming back from abroad have been put into isolation since Friday (April 3) In the past they were allowed to self-quarantine at home, but now we place them in quarantine centres as well as hotels,” he said.

Of the number of returnees scanned at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the director-general said 18 were found to have symptoms such as fever and have since been tested, isolated and sent to hospitals.

“Of the 25,000 or so Malaysian returnees, we have placed some of them in hotels and some in the quarantine centres,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

As of today 3,793 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the country, with over 1,241 cases recovered and discharged from hospitals today alone.

The Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre’s statistics revealed 131 new cases were reported today, with one death in Terengganu, a 67-year old man with a history of diabetes and high-blood pressure.

Globally 1,284,754 Covid-19 cases have been reported, with 271,731 recoveries and 70,320 deaths.


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