Returning students in Sabah might skip quarantine, says minister

University students, who have been kept on campus since March 18, may be allowed to return home beginning next week.

KOTA KINABALU: Returning Sabah students will be sent directly to their hometowns when they arrive in the state beginning next week, a Sabah minister said.

State education minister Yusof Yacob said the Sabah government had strategies in place to handle returning students but would await word from the National Security Council.

He did not dismiss the possibility that students could still be quarantined for 14 days upon their return.

Yusof said students from other states had already been screened and had been isolated on campus for over a month.

“If they show symptoms while on their flight home, only then we would have to quarantine them,” said Yusof today.

Yesterday senior federal minister for security Ismail Sabri Yaakob had said that students stranded on campuses across the country can make their way home in stages from Monday.

Sabah education minister Yusof Yacob

Yusof said parents do not need to fetch their children at the airport but can do so at the police stations in their respective hometowns.

“For those from the East Coast, we might need to arrange for them to be flown direct to Sandakan or Tawau airport. We also might arrange shuttle buses to take students home to districts like Kunak and Semporna,” he said.

Yusof said there are 37 students undergoing an exchange programme in Kuching, Sarawak, and 87 more in Peninsular Malaysia.

More than 3,000 state-sponsored students in various local and foreign colleges and universities are expected to return home from next week.

“We will wait until they are given clearance to make their way home,” said Yusof. The federal education ministry will handle the return of those students.

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