According to Malaysiakini, the internet is abuzz over International Trade and Industry Minister Azmin Ali’s visit to the Putrajaya district police headquarters yesterday (10 May), which he had shared on social media. However, the discussion was not about Azmin’s trip to hand over contributions to the police club there but rather on the status of his quarantine.
ICYMI, Azmin had led a trade mission to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from 26 April to 4 May. During the trip, Azmin had also performed the umrah.
Yesterday, when Azmin shared on Twitter about his trip, six days after returning from the overseas visit, netizens promptly asked if he had fulfilled his quarantine period.
“When did he return from overseas? How long did he quarantine for? ” asked a Twitter user. Another Twitter user said, “I had to sacrifice and quarantine for 14 days to comply with the government’s instructions but the people in government do not follow?”.
Yet another Twitter user pointed out that the Health Ministry had detected the B.1.1.7 variant in a traveller from the United Arab Emirates. The B.1.1.7 variant first emerged in the United Kingdom.
While the government has been tightening quarantine conditions for regular citizens amid concerns that new Covid-19 variants could enter the country, it should be noted that Health Minister Dr Adham Baba had signed an order allowing ministers on an official overseas trip to only quarantine for three days, back in February.
Yesterday, the government announced the reimposition of a 14-day quarantine period for travellers from Singapore. It was previously reduced to seven days. Putrajaya also cited concerns over more dangerous Covid-19 variants circulating in the city-state.
The government had also imposed a ban on travellers from India on 28 April due to concerns over the B.1.617 strain that had sent Covid-19 cases in that country spiralling. The government later expanded the travel ban to India’s neighbouring countries – Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal on 5 May.
To date, the government has not indicated any plans to tighten quarantine restrictions for ministers even though the same measures have been imposed on regular citizens.