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People entering Malaysia to serve quarantine at hotels, govt centres

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Everyone arriving from Friday will have to bear full cost of quarantine

PETALING JAYA: All those returning to Malaysia will have to undergo their mandatory quarantine at hotels or quarantine centres starting from Friday, said Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Mr Ismail Sabri said this requirement applies to both Malaysians and non-citizens who have been allowed to enter the country.

Under current rules, those who test negative for the coronavirus upon arrival in Malaysia are allowed to serve their mandatory 14-day quarantine at home. But this option will no longer be available from Friday.

Mr Ismail Sabri, who was speaking at a press conference yesterday, said those arriving from Friday will have to bear the full cost of their quarantine at hotels and government centres.

The new requirement comes amid rising infection numbers after Malaysia eased its shutdown measures on June 10, allowing businesses and most social activities to resume but with social distancing protocols in place.

Malaysia reported 15 new cases yesterday, taking its total tally to 8,815.

The death toll remains at 123.

Mr Ismail Sabri said the police will no longer just give advice and issue warnings to those who flout social distancing rules under the recovery phase of the country's movement control order (MCO).

"Many people seem to assume there are no laws in place, as if the MCO has ended," he said.

"The police have made a decision that there will be no more warnings and advice. They will take stern action on anyone who violates the MCO," he added.


In a separate development, the Philippines said yesterday it would ramp up coronavirus testing amid a sharp rise in infections and deaths since a lockdown was eased last month.

The country recorded two more virus-related deaths and 1,951 additional infections yesterday.

Total deaths had increased to 1,837, while confirmed cases reached 70,764.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque said in a televised meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte that the Philippines has tested nearly 1.1 million people, but the aim was for 10 million people - or nearly a tenth of the population - to be tested by the second quarter of next year.

Mr Duterte threatened to arrest anyone who spreads the virus, refuses to wear a mask or to keep a safe distance from others.

The tough-talking president warned in April that violators of lockdown rules could be shot for causing trouble.

"We do not have any qualms on arresting people," Mr Duterte said in a recorded address aired yesterday.

It was a "serious crime" to spread the Covid-19 respiratory disease, he added.

"If you are brought to the police station and detained there, that would give you a lesson for all time," he said of anyone caught not wearing a mask.

Meanwhile, Indonesia yesterday reported 1,655 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 89,869.

The number of deaths rose by 81 yesterday to reach 4,320. - THE STAR, REUTERS