Malaysian netizens are very angry with quarantine flouters, who have been caught eating and shopping even though they are supposed to be staying at home.
How much of a risk do they really pose? Let’s find out…
Quarantine Flouters Breaking Home Quarantine
When Malaysia started implementing the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) on 10 June 2020, they started implementing a more lenient home quarantine.
Instead of forcing every person returning from overseas to stay at designated quarantine centres or hotels, they let them stay at home instead for 14 days.
However, quite a few quarantine flouters have abused this leniency, and netizens have been posting their pictures online.
Quarantine Flouters : How Much Of A Risk Do They Pose?
While netizens are justifiably angry about quarantine flouters breaking home quarantine, how much of a risk do they really pose?
Fact #1 : They Have All Tested Negative
When these citizens and foreigners enter Malaysia by land, sea or air, they have to undergo mandatory COVID-19 tests using the Antigen Rapid Test Kit.
Those who test negative are allowed to go home, where they must observe a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
They must also wear a wristband that they cannot take off, and install the MySejahtera app to track their compliance.
If their test results cannot be obtained within a few hours, they would be taken to quarantine centres to await their results.
Those who test positive are immediately taken to the hospital for treatment.
So these quarantine flouters have at least passed the initial COVID-19 antigen test at the airport / port.
Fact #2 : The Antigen Test Isn’t 100% Accurate
Unfortunately, the antigen rapid test kit isn’t 100% accurate (no test is), and may return a false negative result.
In other words, the first negative test does NOT mean the returnee is free from COVID-19. That’s why the SOP is to test twice.
Those undergoing home quarantine are required to get tested a second time on Day 13 at selected government and private clinics.
Only after they test negative for the second time, are they allowed to have their wristband removed and be discharged officially at the District Health Office.
This is to ensure that these returnees are really free from COVID-19 before they are allowed to leave their homes.
Fact #3 : Returnees Have Created New COVID-19 Clusters
The Malaysia Director General of Health Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah pointed out recently that returnees have created three of the 13 new COVID-19 clusters :
- Novgorod PUI Cluster
- Shirala PUI Cluster
- Pitakwa PUI Cluster
This should reinforce the fact that the initial antigen RTK test on entry is not foolproof.
Quarantine Flouters : Still Breaking The Law
While the majority of returnees who test positive are probably free of COVID-19, there is a chance that some of them might still be infected with COVID-19.
And since there is no way to know who has it, they should all be considered as potentially infectious.
That’s why the government made it a crime to break the home quarantine requirements and SOP, with a fine of RM 1000.
Anyone who is seen breaking their home quarantine should be reported to the government.
COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!
Here are a few simple steps to stay safe from COVID-19 :
- Avoid suspected cases or disease hotpots, like hospitals, if possible!
- Avoid public events and crowds
- Keep our hands clean with soap or hand sanitiser
- Keep our home, office, vehicles, etc. clean
- If you need to wear a surgical mask, make sure you put it on and remove it properly!
- Wash your food with water (and soap) after purchase and before preparation
Recommended : COVID-19 : Hand Sanitiser or Soap? Which Is Better?
Recommended : Surgical Mask : How To CORRECTLY Wear + Remove!
Recommended : Grocery Shopping Safety During COVID-19
Recommended : COVID-19 Food Safety : Fruits, Vegetables, Takeouts
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