Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali has come under fire recently for apparent exemption from mandatory COVID-19 quarantine. It was reported that he returned from Turkey on 7th July and had attended Parliament on the 13th of July. Seputeh MP Teresa Kok had pointed out that this was a clear breach of SOP which requires all returning Malaysians to undergo 14 days of self isolation to curb the spread of the disease.
As reported by The Star, Mohd Khairuddin said that he had taken the COVID-19 tests three times and the tests returned negative. He was tested upon arriving from Turkey on 7th July and had another test 13 days later. He was tested the third time before attending an event at Istana Negara on 17th August.
In response to critics, he said that the fact he was allowed to enter Istana Negara proved that he had tested negative for COVID-19. He said he would have been denied entry if he had tested positive.
Effective 10th June, all Malaysians were allowed to complete their mandatory 14-day quarantine at home. Upon arrival at the airport, they will undergo a swab test and if they are found positive, they would be sent straight to the hospital for treatment.
For those who tested negative can proceed to be quarantined at home and they must comply with self-quarantine rules. Those undergoing quarantine are required to wear a wristband and action will be taken against those who take them off before the quarantine period is over.
Apart from staying at home throughout the home quarantine period, returnees must also isolate themselves from other family members. The household should ensure that the returning individuals adhere to the SOP to prevent potential spread of COVID-19 to the community.
The government had later decided to bring back mandatory quarantine at designated facilities after several individuals flouted home quarantine rules. The mandatory quarantine at designated zones was reintroduced effective 24th July which was after the Minister returned from his overseas trip.
Last week, the patient zero of the Sivagangga cluster was fined RM12,000 and sentenced to 5 months jail for visiting 3 banks and a Inland Revenue Board office during his home quarantine period. This was followed by the viral pink tag lady who was fined RM8,000 and jailed for a day for having a meal outside during her quarantine period.
On 4th August, the Minister had copied and pasted a Facebook post which criticised those that failed to comply with SOP which resulted the COVID-19 Sivagangga cluster. The post mentioned that “it starts with one, two and now it has reached over 20 people, enough to shock the country”. At the time of writing, Dr Khairuddin has deleted the post after receiving public backlash.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had told MalaysiaKini on Wednesday that his ministry is investigating claims that Dr Khairuddin Razali had breached quarantine orders after returning from his Turkey trip.