M’sia readies 10,000 quarantine rooms for returning Malaysians

10,000 quarantine rooms prepared for Malaysians returning from Singapore cover pic
The Malaysian government has prepared 10,000 quarantine rooms for Malaysians returning from Singapore
Image adapted from: Straits Times

After an intense month of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysians have finally begun breathing a sigh of relief as numbers of new cases continue to dwindle while the death toll remains low. However, we were all in for a shock when Singapore started reporting exponential surges of new COVID-19 numbers in the 4-digit figure range.

Aside from extending our well wishes and concern to our next-door neighbours, a number of Malaysians are also worried over what Singapore’s 2-month-long lockdown means for our country as there are about 40,000 Malaysians currently in Singapore. However, the local government has thwarted rumours and hearsay by revealing that they’ve already prepared 10,000 quarantine rooms and made arrangements with the Singaporean government to allow Malaysians to return home in batches.

14-day mandatory quarantine for returning Malaysians

Since the Movement Control Order (MCO) in mid-March, all returning Malaysians have been asked to go through a 14-day mandatory quarantine at designated facilities across Malaysia. This serves as a precautionary measure as it’s otherwise difficult to trace the individual’s close contacts and whereabouts from before they stepped foot back into the country.

The 14 days also corresponds to the incubation period for COVID-19 – so that if an individual were to display symptoms of the disease, they can be immediately transferred to a hospital for treatment and won’t pose a risk to anyone else around them.

The same procedure will apply for Malaysians returning from Singapore after news of the country’s Circuit Breaker or partial lockdown. As it’s expected to end on 1st June 2021, the local government is expecting to see a high surge of returning Malaysians.

malaysia-singapore immigration (1)
Image credit: Reuters

According to The Straits Times, those who test negative for COVID-19 will be allowed to self-quarantine at home while those who display symptoms or are tested positive will sit through their 14-day isolation period at government centres.

Human Resources Ministry to prevent overcrowding

Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob shared that both countries have agreed to let Malaysians return in stages so that resources and manpower aren’t overwhelmed. The Human Resources Ministry is the body responsible for determining how many Malaysians are allowed to return in each batch, which is certainly a tough call to make considering there are about 40,000 Malaysians currently in Singapore.

malaysia-singapore immigration
Image credit: BH File

It’s a crucial time for both countries, and we can see that the Malaysian government is doing its best to ensure that our country will not see a resurgence in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Malaysia prepares for the influx of returning countrymen

While we’re overjoyed that the numbers of COVID-19 cases have been dropping, we still can’t afford to be lenient as we still have a long way to go before the battle against this worldwide pandemic is over. However, it’s certainly reassuring to know that the government is pulling out all the stops to properly contain this virus.

We’re also happy for our fellow Malaysians as they get to come back home to their families and sit out this trying time in the company of their loved ones.

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