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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 8): The government has decided that Cabinet ministers returning from overseas trips to only be subjected to a three-day quarantine period, as opposed to the usual 10-day quarantine requirement.

A federal gazette signed by Minister of Health Datuk Seri Adham Baba, which will be effective tomorrow (Feb 9) until Aug 1, states that cabinet ministers who are returning from any official overseas visit will need to be under observation for three days or undergo supervision until they can be released without endangering the public.

The order, called the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Exemption) Order 2021, states that any minister who is returning from an official visit abroad would be exempted from Section 15 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.

Section 15 states that “an authorised officer may order any contact to undergo observation in such place and for such period as he may think fit, or to undergo surveillance until he may be discharged without danger to the public”.

Currently, Malaysia enforces a 10-day mandatory quarantine requirement for those that are taking flights, either international or domestic.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin made an official visit to Indonesia last week for a one-hour face-to-face meeting with President Joko Widodo.

In October last year, he emphasised that there was no practice of double standards in complying with the Covid-19 quarantine orders and said he himself and his ministers were not exempted from adhering to the standard operating procedures.

S Kanagaraju - Edge Markets, 8/2/2021