The government has introduced new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for foreign returnees from countries with reported SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (VOC).
The foreign returnees will need to take a swab test three days before the trip to Malaysia, undergo quarantine at designated centres with the 10-day quarantine period to be extended to 14 days.
The returnees must also download and use the MySejahtera app once they arrive and must undergo another swab test on the 10th day of quarantine, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a statement today.
He said the three variants reported under the VOC according to World Health Organisation (WHO) were – B.1.351 from South Africa, B.1.1.7 from United Kingdom, and B.1.1.28 or P1 from Brazil and Japan.
“The concern over the VOC variants are because the infection was found to be rapid and result in severe symptoms that require immediate admission into Intensive Care Units (ICU), other than resulting in death.
“Vaccines are less effective (on the VOC variants). They (the variants) are also difficult to detect in some laboratories.”