Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Muhyiddin and government responsible for Covid-19 cases in 3 Immigration detention centres? MCO Breach? Xenophobia?

Logically, prisons and other detention facilities, where people are generally isolated from the population ought to be safe from Covid-19. New arrestees or detainees should never have been introduced to these detention facilities including prisons, undocumented migrant detention centers, detention without trial detention centres, etc 

Even the arresting and detaining of persons who violated the Movement Control Order(MCO) in police lock-ups or other detention facilities were dangerous. 

Remember, the strict rules that is followed following the closure of international borders - On arrival in Malaysia, they are placed in quarantine for a period of at least 14 days. In some countries, a person is tested first before leaving the country, and even tested and quarantined after arriving in Malaysia. Even for the recent Parliamentary 'sitting', prior testing for all MPs...

All these preventive requirements are violated when people get arrested, locked up in police lock-ups or sent to detention centres/jail UNLESS there are special 'quarantine' like detention centers/places that practice 'social distancing', hyginic practices, etc ...

With regard to 'undocumented migrant workers, initially Malaysia acted reasonably with 'care', adopting a moratorium of sorts on enforcement - encouraging even these 'undocumented migrants' to step forward to be screened and tested > THEN, suddenly there was a 'policy change' by Prime Minister Muhyiddin and his government, which saw an aggressive crackdown and detention of 'undocumented migrant workers'  - One natural consequence would be that they will now go back into 'hiding' - so, even if showing symptoms, they will not seek medical attention. Remember, they('these undocumented migrants') are everywhere mingling every day with Malaysians.

With the crackdown of such large numbers, it became 'impossible' to practice 'social distancing' and all the other preventive measures.

Then, did they create special 'quarantine facilities' that will quarantine and isolate every detained migrant for at least 14 days, where they will be screened and tested on arrest...and thereafter again on the 13th or 14th day to ensure they are Covid-19 free, before being introduced into the general population of the Covid-19 free detainees?

For prisons and detention centres, a closed community, the only risk of infection would come from persons who leave the detention facilities, go home, exposing oneself to risk outside and returning back to work in the jails and detention facilities...this would be generally the 'public servants'...

Prisons and detention centers are HIGH RISK places - because of the numbers there, many a time 'over-crowded', and they needed to be protected from infections from outside..

Now, we have Covid-19 infections at 3 Immigration Detention Centers — Bukit Jalil, Sepang and Semenyih. Who brought the infection - the recent arrestees from the crackdown on undocumented migrants? Some officers at these detention centres?

Why were the new detainees not placed in a different facility, separated from the detainees already in this Immigration Depots?

STOP also arresting and detaining MCO violators in police lock-ups, etc...

A new NORM must be followed to curb the spread of Covid-19 - are they being indiscriminately followed in all situations? 

XENOPHOBIA and racism must be avoided at all cost - Covid-19 infects everyone indiscriminately irrespective of nationality, race, religion or gender. There was a rationale talking about 'import cases'(persons who returned to Malaysia from other countries), and local cases. To date, the State and media has avoided use of ethnicity and race of the infected - the only reference have been locality, age and whether the victim had some other serious ailments. But, recent days have seen an increase of reporting of the number of migrants(foreigners) and the number of Malaysians infected - NOT a just move as it encourages XENOPHOBIA in Malaysia. 

Hence, DG of Health and other Ministers(and politicians) must be aware of this...and not cultivate xenophobia and racism in Malaysia. 

Dr Noor Hisham: Malaysia records 172 new Covid-19 cases today, of which 159 are non-Malaysians

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during a press conference on Covid-19 in Putrajaya May 25, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during a press conference on Covid-19 in Putrajaya May 25, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — Malaysia recorded 172 new Covid-19 cases today, bringing the total to 7,417 cases.
Out of the 172 cases, five are imported cases while 167 are local transmissions, where 159 are non-Malaysians, and only eight are Malaysians, bringing the total number of active cases to 1,323.

“Eight cases are being treated at intensive care units, where four are in need of ventilators.

“No death was recorded today. This brings the cumulative number of deaths to 115,” he said during the Health Ministry’s (MOH) daily briefing on Covid-19.

Of the local transmissions, 112 were detected at three immigration detention depots — Bukit Jalil, Sepang and Semenyih.

“MOH wishes to announce that a new Covid-19 cluster has been detected at the Sepang Immigration Detention Depot as of noon today.

“Twenty-nine new cases were detected at the Sepang Immigration Detention Depot today, which brings the total number of positive cases at the detention depot to 36. The positive cases were detected from the 1,449 samples taken; 540 tested negative while 873 are still awaiting results,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

As for the Bukit Jalil cluster, 1,536 samples were taken — from 1,422 detainees and 114 staff — where 126 were reported as positive, 514 negative and 896 awaiting results, he said.

“For the Semenyih cluster, 1,757 samples were taken from 1,630 detainees and 127 staff. Sixty-six were found positive, 753 were negative while 938 samples await results,” he added.

Dr Noor Hisham has assured that the situation at these detention centres is under control and that they are not accessible to the public.

The last time three-digit Covid-19 cases were recorded was on May 3, with 122 cases, while on April 14, there were 170 cases.  - Malay Mail, 26/5/2020

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