Malaysian authorities have announced that as of Friday, July 24, incoming travelers from overseas permitted to enter the country will be required to undergo quarantine for 14-days at quarantine centers set by the government. Previously, those permitted entry were able to self-quarantine. The measure comes amid a rising number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases and after individuals reportedly breached the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of their home quarantine order. Individuals will be required to self-pay for quarantine which will reportedly be at hotels or public training institutes.
International borders remain closed and entry into Malaysia is prohibited, except for Malaysian nationals and non-citizens holding certain categories of resident and employment passes or granted special entry. Individuals may be required to take a COVID-19 test on arrival and on completion of quarantine.
On June 10, authorities began easing lockdown measures, allowing most businesses, social activities, and religious activities to resume, provided social distancing measures are respected. Water sports, entertainment outlets, and large gatherings remain prohibited. Authorities will reportedly begin using stricter action on individuals who violate social distancing measures and other restrictions in place under the recovery phase of the country's movement control order (MCO). Approximately 80 people were detained on Monday, July 20, for violating the MCO.
As of Wednesday, July 22, there have been 8831 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Malaysia and 123 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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