Pay if you chose hotel to self-quarantine, says minister

Sabah Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Frankie Poon (centre) during a visit to one of the quarantine centres in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.

KOTA KINABALU: People required to quarantine themselves may choose to do so at designated hotels but at their own cost, Sabah Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Frankie Poon said.

He said there were 28 gazetted quarantine centres in Sabah but those required to undergo the 14-day self quarantine had the option to stay at Monaco Boutique Hotel and Oyo Hotel here.

These hotels had been sanctioned by the health ministry to serve as quarantine centres, he said..

The state requires those who return from overseas to undergo two weeks’ quarantine to help contain the spread of Covid-19.

“Those who stay at the designated hotels are required to pay for the room and food, unlike the quarantine centres provided by government, where there is no charge.

“The health ministry may consider increasing the number of hotels as quarantine centres if there is a need for it.

“I was informed the hotel accommodation is popular with all booked up by those coming back from overseas,” Poon said after visiting seven quarantine centres here and in Penampang and Papar yesterday.

The visits followed complaints about the cleanliness and condition of the quarantine centres.

Poon, who was accompanied by Kota Kinabalu mayor Nordin Simin and Dr Mohd Azimullah Abdullah from the health ministry, said authorities would ensure that basic necessities like water, food, face masks and blankets were provided to those required to go for quarantine.

He said he found the conditions at the centres “generally acceptable” except for the one at the Institut Latihan Kesihatan Malaysia, which was a dilapidated building.

Poon also visited the government hostel at Taman Rose here, which is housing 11 homeless people who otherwise would have to live in the streets without food and shelter.