LANGKAWI, Sept 17 — Subjecting every tourist heading to Langkawi to mandatory COVID-19 screening tests is a wise decision that will protect the tourism bubble pioneer project and the island resort, Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said.
He said the tests had proven its effectiveness when five COVID-19 positive individuals were identified before arriving on the island yesterday.
“The screenings are very beneficial and effective, and has proven itself as a requirement because category one and two positive cases usually have no symptoms.
“We have made preparations here (to welcome tourists) but when a tourist tests positive, it is very unfortunate for them,” he said when met by reporters when visiting Pantai Chenang here today.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said yesterday that five individuals were found to be COVID-19 positive after being screened before heading to Langkawi. All cases were category one without any symptoms.
Muhammad Sanusi said the screenings should continue for all tourists headed to Langkawi to avoid any risk of spreading COVID-19 on the island.
He also advised those who wished to visit Langkawi to get screened earlier to avoid crowding at entry points into Langkawi.
“It would be best to do the swab test before they come to the jetty, you would need a letter for the swab test, a witness from the Health Department, a certificate, so if you do it at the entry point, it will be time-consuming and will cause a delay in your journey, and you might miss the ferry,” he said.
On the progress of the tourism bubble pioneer project there, Muhammad Sanusi said everything was going well so far and tourist compliance of the standard operating procedure (SOP) was very satisfactory.
“Public reaction, especially Langkawi residents are quite positive, they seem happier as if they were waiting for this moment, I do hope people who come to visit will comply with the SOP for everyone’s benefit, and I hope this continues,” he added.