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Ismail: M’sians are treated better during quarantine compared to other countries (Updated)

08 Apr 2020 / 16:22 H.

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians should be grateful for the treatment they are receiving at the various Covid-19 quarantine centres nationwide, according to Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pix).

The senior minister said the government was doing its best to ensure the comfort of every citizen, after certain individuals took to social media to complain of the condition of their quarantine spaces, despite being provided hotel rooms.

He pointed out that in some countries, those being quarantined had to even sleep on the floor, forced to cramp into small spaces, and were having difficulty obtaining food.

“Here, we are even providing hotels for quarantine. Food are also provided. If we want to be grateful, then we can compare with other countries which are doing much worse, in terms of the quarantine centres provided.

“If we do that (comparison), then inshaallah (God’s willing) we will be thankful with what is being provided by the government.

“Trust me, the government will not allow the rakyat to suffer. We will give the best possible treatment for our people,” he told a press conference, here today.

Ismail said to date, a total of 127 quarantine centres are in operation nationwide, including 12 hotels (out of the 45 gazetted hotels). There are also 8,153 individuals currently undergoing mandatory quarantine.

In addition, he said the government is in the midst of gazetting 67 more hotels, to raise the number of hotels as quarantine centres to 112.

On concerns that some are unable to afford the cost of being quarantined at gazetted hotels, Ismail said it has already bee agreed that the rate, fixed at RM150, would be borne by the government.

“The rate, which includes food and drink, is RM150 and this has been agreed upon with the hotels. So there’s no issue of extra charges being imposed,” he said.

Responding to questions raised by certain quarters that some individuals were being quarantined in more highly-rated hotels than others, Ismail said allocations are done on a first come, first served basis.

“We will fill up one hotel first, and when there are no more rooms, then we will move to the next hotel,” he replied.

Ismail also clarified about viral postings on certain quarantine centres said to be in very poor condition, explaining that those were merely “transit centres”.

“In Johor for instance, there were claims of people being forced to live in dorms. It is only temporary due to the high volume of Malaysians returning from Singapore. They have since been transferred,” he added.

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