PM calls for calm amid spike in Covid-19 cases

KUALA LUMPUR: More temporary detention and quarantine centres for illegal migrants would be set up following the spike in new Covid-19 cases linked to the group.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the decision was made as the existing centres were unable to accommodate the number of undocumented immigrants detained by the authorities.

He said more Health Ministry personnel would also be deployed to conduct screenings on the migrants placed at the centres before they could be deported to their countries of origin.

More enforcement personnel would also be deployed to guard and secure the country's borders and curb the influx of illegal immigrants, especially in Sabah, he said.

"Assets would also be deployed to prevent any attempts to cross the country's borders (illegally).

"I would like to assure that the level of the country's preparedness is at its optimum and is capable of addressing the spread of Covid-19 as we have experienced prior to this," he said in a Facebook posting today.

He said the National Security Council (NSC) special meeting on Covid-19 management which he chaired in the morning among others discussed on cases detected in prisons, Targeted Enhanced Movement Control Order (TEMCO) and clusters.

Acknowledging concerns raised by the public due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases, Muhyiddin reiterated the government's assurance and commitment to continue efforts in "curbing and managing the spread of the virus infection to the best of its ability."

He said the Health Ministry (MoH) reported 287 new cases on Saturday, with 128 of them were registered in Kedah involving staff and inmates at the Alor Star prison, while the remaining cases were detected in Sabah and other states in the peninsula.

"The presentation by Health Ministry (officials) revealed that Covid-19 cases in Sabah comprised 139 people or 1.18 per cent of the cumulative cases in the country.

"The situation is currently still under control as a result of cooperation from various agencies and continuous public health monitoring by MoH," he said.

Muhyiddin said most cases were detected among inmates in prisons and TEMCO areas, which had since been kept in check.

He said all the areas were monitored at all times and close contact detection activities were actively being carried out to ensure that positive cases could be detected and isolated.

"I wish for an understanding on this matter; and would like to stress that the situation is under control and is being managed well by the relevant government agencies."

He said there were 40 hospitals and 34 quarantine and low-risk treatment centres, to treat positive Covid-19 cases with a capacity of 5,674 beds, with only 24 per cent of them currently in use.

In addition, he said there were 437 beds placed at Intensive Care Units and 1,505 ventilators in health facilities nationwide, he said.

"I would like to call for all to remain calm in facing the Covid-19 spread. I believe that our frontliners, in particular the Health Ministry and security forces have the capacity and expertise to handle the situation well.

"Let us all make the new norm a culture and adhere to the SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) set by the authorities."

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