Sending students home - Health DG says wait for Phase 3 data first

Geraldine Tong

11 Apr 2020, 10:33 am

Updated a year ago


CORONAVIRUS | The Higher Education Ministry has been advised to be patient before allowing those stranded in student accommodations during the current movement control order (MCO) to go home.

Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said they will review the latest data in a week from Phase 3 of the MCO before advising the Higher Education Ministry on the matter.

“Seeing as we are entering an important phase, Phase 3, we need to tighten our controls to lower the number of cases.

“From our estimation, we might succeed if all Malaysians, together with the Health Ministry, ensure we double down on the actions from Phase 1 and 2 and hopefully in Phase 3, we can succeed in lowering the number of cases.

“So our advice to the Higher Education Ministry is to be patient, maybe in a week or two. Soonest in a week, we will look at the latest data. Once we have the latest data in Phase 3 then we can advise the ministry,” he said at a press conference in Putrajaya today.

It was previously reported that the Higher Education Ministry had proposed to the cabinet to allow those living in student accommodations to return home.

However, this suggestion was shot down by senior minister (security cluster) Ismail Sabri Yaakob at a press conference earlier today.

He said though the Health Ministry was currently reviewing the proposal but even if students were allowed to leave, it would involve a larger number even if done in stages.

“There are 80,000 students living in accommodations provided by private and public institutes of higher learning.

“This figure does not include those who stay in rental accommodations with private owners,” he had said.

Ismail said the Health Ministry will have to evaluate the impact of such movements first.

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