COVID-19 | Health Minister Dr Adham Baba and Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah turned up at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 1 and 2 (KLIA and KLIA2) in the wee hours today amid long queues of passengers who had to wait for hours to get tested for Covid-19.
This came after the ministry made Covid-19 test compulsory for passengers arriving from Sabah, which is the new epicentre of the country's outbreak. They are also tagged and must undergo a 14-day Home Quarantine Order.
However, the first day of implementation yesterday did not go smoothly as the airport corridors became crowded as testing was slow with limited Health Ministry personnel and equipment.
Some passengers said they waited for more than three hours and as more flights from Sabah arrived, the backlog increased with some reporting up to six hours of waiting time.
Adham and Noor Hisham visited the airports at 2am today and there were still long queues of people waiting to get tested.
"Adham is surveying the crowding of passengers from Sabah arriving at KLIA and KLIA2.
"The crowding problem will be immediately resolved with additional equipment and personnel.
"He thanked Health Ministry personnel for their commitment," the Health Ministry said in a statement.
@DrAdhamBaba meninjau kesesakan yang dialami pengembara dari Sabah yang tiba di KLIA dan KLIA2.— KKMalaysia🇲🇾 (@KKMPutrajaya) September 28, 2020
Masalah kesesakan akan diselesaikan segera dengan penambahan peralatan dan petugas.
Beliau berterima kasih kpd semua petugas KKM atas komitmen. pic.twitter.com/xy9JCyYEPO
Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) also shared pictures of Adham and Noor Hisham at the airport on Facebook.
"Adham and Noor Hisham are here with us early this morning to check the progress of the testing.
"Thank you for your dedication and commitment to ensure all safety measures and testing procedures are carried out seamlessly.
"We are happy to work alongside all parties to ease the process for our passengers," the airport management said.
Minister of Health Dato’ Sri Dr Adham Baba and DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham are here with us early this morning to check...Posted by Malaysia Airports on Sunday, 27 September 2020
The long wait for exhausted and hungry passengers have caused frustration, and concerns have also been raised that social distancing was not possible in the crowded corridors.
MAHB said it was also taking measures to help make the wait for passengers more bearable.
"Our subsidiary Eraman is working closely with the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) to distribute food to passengers arriving from Sabah," it said.
Malaysia yesterday reported 150 new Covid-19 cases, the bulk of which or 124 were in Sabah.
At least 15 of the cases reported in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Pahang, Johor and Malacca were also traced to Sabah.
This is just as the Sabah election concluded last Saturday and campaigners from Peninsular Malaysia return home.
Our mobile food carts are ready to serve arriving pax from Sabah today. Stop by for yummy coffee and snacks...😊 #MYairportsupdates #covid19 #malaysiaairports @MOTMalaysia @KKMPutrajaya pic.twitter.com/kdOMTGfynN— Malaysia Airports (@MY_Airports) September 28, 2020