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Monday, December 28, 2020

Ministry mulls home quarantine for Covid-19 patients

 

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says several criteria need to be considered, including suitability of the house, room and toilet.

PUTRAJAYA: People who test positive for Covid-19 may soon be allowed to quarantine at home, the health ministry said today.

This is one of the solutions being considered with the growing number of people infected with the virus, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.

He added that a health assessment needs to be carried out to ensure the patients can be monitored even if they are home quarantined.

“We can consider this. There are several criteria to look into including suitability of the house, room and toilet. But our policy (for now) remains the same, that is to quarantine positive patients at hospitals,” he said during a press conference here.

He said the infectivity period is three days before the appearance of symptoms and seven days after symptoms. “We will maintain the policy of treating patients for 10 days in hospitals and PKRC (quarantine and treatment centres for low-risk patients),” he added.

Noor Hisham said the ministry is also considering placing infected patients at hostels designated as quarantine centres for mild cases, similar to what was carried out for the thousands of cases recorded under the Teratai cluster. The Teratai cluster in Klang, Selangor mainly involved foreign workers employed by Top Glove.

Delay in transferring KL and Selangor patients

He said the most number of Covid-19 positive patients awaiting transfer from home to hospitals were in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

“We still have capacity (beds). The delay is in transferring. We advise patients to remain at home, isolate themselves and wait until we pick them up,” he said, adding that he didn’t have the exact number of patients waiting to be transferred.

Noor Hisham also advised such patients not to mingle with their family members and to keep in touch with district officers until they are transferred to hospitals.

As for beds, he said there are about 6,000 beds for foreign workers at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang in Serdang, and the number will be increased to about 10,000 beds.

The ministry is also using Sungai Buloh, a government institute and the maternity ward at Kuala Lumpur Hospital for citizens. - FMT

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