PUTRAJAYA, April 26  — The Ministry of Health (MOH) will propose to the government to halt all flights from India to prevent the spread of India’s double-mutant COVID-19 variant in Malaysia.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the proposal will be presented at the special meeting of the National Security Council later today.

“This is an important policy decision and we want the government to take immediate action,” he told a weekly press conference on COVID-19 here today.

International media recently reported that India’s capital has announced a lockdown following a ferocious new coronavirus wave with more than 200,000 fresh daily cases, believed caused by the double-mutant variant of the virus.

Dr Adham said the MOH will also propose for all travellers arriving from countries that have reported the spread of new variants of concern (VOC) to undergo compulsory quarantine for 14 days from the current 10.

“It will be made compulsory for them to undergo quarantine at the gazetted locations only. This proposal follows concerns that the symptoms from the mutant variants will emerge on the 10th or 11th day,” he said.

Dr Adham said the quarantine period was aimed to prevent the spread of new cases caused by the VOC.

“We have two options. Travellers on direct flights from VOC countries will be compelled to 14-day quarantine, while for transit passengers, the quarantine period will be calculated on the day they arrived in the country,” he said.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report, there are three types of VOC, namely the B.1.351 which was first reported in South Africa, B.1.1.7 from the United Kingdom, and B.1.1.28 or P1 from  Brazil and Japan.


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