Group frustrated over poor conditions at JB quarantine centre

The dormitory-style centre in Johor Bahru where those under quarantine have been told to stay.

PETALING JAYA: A Covid-19 quarantine centre in Johor Bahru has drawn complaints for its deplorable living conditions, with a group threatening to leave the facility if the situation is not addressed by the authorities.

Jaspal Singh, an inspection engineer in the oil and gas industry, said the condition of the centre was “disgusting”, with dirty toilets and mattresses.

“When they gave us our rooms, we realised that they weren’t rooms but dormitories, and they’ve put three to four persons per dorm. And it’s an open dorm.

“There are only common showers and they don’t even have doors. The toilets don’t even have toilet seats and it looks as if they haven’t been washed for ages,” he told FMT.

He added that all of the dorms only had fans and some even had broken windows.

Some of the window panes are missing.

Jaspal said he had arrived at the facility today with eight other colleagues after working on an offshore vessel for the last 40 days and they were initially given the green light to self-quarantine.

After five hours of filling up paperwork and waiting for the authorities’ decision, they were instructed to head to the quarantine centre.

“They expect us to live for 14 days over here. It is disgusting. We’ve been offshore for 40 days; we’re all tired and lethargic. We expected a proper facility to quarantine us,” he added.

He said there were around 25 people refusing to stay in their dorms and have been remaining at the common area for the last five hours.

The poor condition of the bathroom.

His group had told the workers there that they were willing to move to hotels designated as centres and foot the bill, even showing the federal gazette that lists five hotels that have been chosen.

However, the workers said they could not be shifted to a different facility as this was a decision by the “higher authorities” and added that only three of the five hotels were ready to receive people.

The gazette under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act lists Crystal Crown Hotel, Hallmark Regency Hotel, Millesime Hotel, New York Hotel and Swiss-Inn Johor Bahru as hotels designated as quarantine centres.

The squatting toilet, which apparently has not been cleaned for some time.

“Why are they so adamant when these hotels have already been approved?

“They keep saying they’re also busy here. But I said you’re not the ones who are going to be living here. They said they’re just doing their job, that it’s the decision of the higher authorities,” which is true.”