Govt ready for mass distribution of face masks

Putrajaya says it will distribute millions of masks to Malaysian households in the coming days.

PUTRAJAYA: The government will begin distributing millions of face masks over the next few days, limiting it to four units for each household.

“In line with the health ministry’s recommendation, only those displaying symptoms need to wear masks,” senior minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in his daily Covid-19 crisis briefing today.

He said 24.62 million masks will be distributed to state National Security Councils before they are delivered to the public.

He said the Royal Malaysian Air Force assets will also be utilised to ensure face masks reach Sabah and Sarawak without delay.

Masjid India EMCO: Foreigners must pay for meals

Ismail said the majority of residents in two buildings in Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur, which have been subjected to enhanced movement control order (EMCO) since yesterday, were foreigners.

As such, the relevant foreign embassies in Malaysia will be responsible for their daily needs such as food, he said.

He however said the foreigners could seek the help of the operations centre to request for assistance to purchase food.

The two buildings, Selangor Mansion and Malayan Mansion, were placed under EMCO which prevents residents from leaving their homes at all times for two weeks.

Hotels as quarantine centres

On the issue of quarantine at 4-star and 5-star hotels, Ismail said the RM150 rate per day was to cover room and meals three times a day.

He questioned claims that there was no agreement between hoteliers and the authorities such as the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) and tourism ministry on the RM150 rate subsidised by the government.

He said hotels which signed up as quarantine centres had agreed to the rate.

“It is agreed. So it does not arise that they have to pay extra.”

He said by allocating hotel rooms as quarantine centres, the government wanted to ensure the best possible service to its citizens.

He said this way, those paying the extra cost to stay in 5-star hotels could also channel complaints on their accommodation with the hotels themselves.

Bad condition of quarantine centres

Meanwhile, Ismail admitted there had been complaints on the deplorable condition of some quarantine centres.

He said the complaints had since been addressed and resolved, including one in Johor for those returning from Singapore.

“This was just temporary because they arrived in large numbers from Singapore which the authorities could not plan as was the case with those who arrived by flight.”

With flights, Ismail said the authorities would know beforehand the number of people returning.