Covid-free undocumented migrants to be deported

Undocumented migrants being rounded up in a raid along Jalan Othman in Petaling Jaya.

PUTRAJAYA: Putrajaya will deport all undocumented migrants who test negative for Covid-19.

The decision by the National Security Council comes amid a spike in the number of infections reported from immigration detention centres.

More than 100 new cases of the deadly virus were detected yesterday at immigration depots following the authorities’ controversial decision to round up those without valid documents.

Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said all undocumented migrants at the KLIA, Bukit Jalil and Semenyih immigration depots would be screened for Covid-19.

Speaking at his daily briefing here today, he said the foreign ministry had been asked to discuss the deportation of those who test negative with its counterparts and the embassies of the relevant countries.

He also said two hospitals had been dedicated to the treatment of illegals who test positive for the virus, apart from the treatment centre at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS).

These are the old maternity ward at Hospital Kuala Lumpur and the old Sungai Buloh hospital.

For now, illegals who test positive for the virus are being treated at MAEPS, which can house 600 patients.

Altogether, he said, the hospitals would be able to take 1,430 patients.

Ismail also said the human resources ministry is expected to announce new policies on minimum standards for workers’ quarters tomorrow.

These will include the number of workers and floor size for each unit.

He said those fighting for the rights of illegal workers need to understand that they had entered the country illegally and it is wrong for them to remain illegally.

“I do not know of any country that allows undocumented people to remain,” he said, adding that those who are not caught may spread the virus.

On the Covid-19 cluster at a construction site in Kuala Lumpur, Ismail said the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) had clarified that the contractor followed procedures in carrying out swabs for the workers before starting operations.

Out of the 400 workers at the site, 44 tested positive and were sent to the Sungai Buloh Hospital, while close contacts were put under quarantine.

The Federal Territories Health Department had also closed the site immediately.

He said out of 5,236 sites checked by CIDB, 728 were found to have followed procedures while 209 developers have been issued warnings for failing to follow regulations.

Seven sites have been closed and another 4,292 are still not in operation.

A total of 27,383 foreign documented and undocumented workers have also been checked by employers.

More passengers allowed in cars

Ismail also announced that the government will allow private vehicles to carry passengers according to their capacity. Before this, only four were allowed in a car.

“But they must be from the same house as the driver.”

He said 738 vehicles were caught crossing state borders yesterday, lower than the 1,243 vehicles the day before. The drivers said they wanted to “balik kampung” and were asked to turn back.

The states with the highest number of attempts to coss borders were Selangor (317), Melaka (89) and Kedah (80).

Yesterday, police had mounted 153 roadblocks and detained 65 individuals, including 57 who were placed under remand for breaking the CMCO.

Another 102 compound fines were issued for breaking various rules under CMCO, with 31 for breaking the SOPs for Raya visits.

He said police will continue to mount roadblocks.

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