No Need To Ban Umrah Travel Over The Omicron Variant For Now Says Khairy

No Need To Ban Umrah Travel Over The Omicron Variant For Now Says Khairy
Source – The Star

According to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, it is still too early to issue a travel restriction for the umrah pilgrimage to Mecca due to a spike in Omicron variant cases.


No Need To Ban Umrah Travel Over The Omicron Variant For Now Says Khairy

According to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, it is still too early to issue a travel restriction for the umrah pilgrimage to Mecca due to a spike in Omicron variant cases.

He said that the ministry was actively monitoring case trends for the Covid-19 variant and making the seven-day home surveillance order (HSO) and the wearing of digital monitoring wristbands mandatory for people returning from the Umrah pilgrimage.

We do not want to make a hasty decision in restricting umrah travel.

For the time being, despite the sharp increase in Omicron cases from Saudi Arabia, we (Health Ministry) ask for HSO compliance as well as physical non-contact with family members by isolating themselves in their rooms and by using separate bathrooms," he commented.

According to the Health Ministry, 30 of the 62 Omicron cases confirmed in Malaysia were imported from Saudi Arabia on Dec 25.

Khairy said that the ministry also advised individuals returning from umrah to continue self-testing for Covid-19 throughout quarantine. On the fifth day of the quarantine, some cases were positive after testing negative upon arrival.

Additionally, the Health Ministry has directed umrah tour firms to make it mandatory for Umrah pilgrims to get their Covid-19 booster doses.

The booster shots are very important especially for high-risk groups such as those aged above 60 and those with a history of comorbidities.

These precautionary measures must be taken as the infectivity rate of the Omicron variant is high," he said.

He added that these measures also applied to those who planned to travel to other countries.

On whether Omicron infectivity rate was a source of concern, as it was far more aggressive than Delta, Khairy did not rule the possibility of the government ordering the returning umrah travellers to undergo their quarantine in quarantine centres if the cases got to a worrying level.

… if it gets to that, we could also restrict travel to Saudi Arabia, but this needs prior monitoring in stages," he said.

On the congestion that occurred at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Monday (Dec 27), he said a shortage of digital monitoring wristbands caused it for returning umrah groups.

He said the Health Ministry instructed Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to add more counters and workers to ensure the wristband installation process ran smoothly.

I inspected the counters earlier today, and I was made to understand that MAHB will add more counters on Thursday," he said.

Source – The Star

Total
1
Shares
Previous Post
Perak Detects The Second Omicron Case Coming From Umrah Cluster

Perak Detects The Second Omicron Case Coming From Umrah Cluster

Next Post
Why Millennial Depression Is on the Rise

Why Millennial Depression Is On The Rise

Related Posts
Total
1
Share