Penang Cancels Medical Flights Amid Rise in Active Covid-19 Cases

GEORGE TOWN: Penang will no longer grant permission or receive patients under medical tourism following active Covid-19 cases in the state, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced last night.

He said he would inform the Health Ministry and National Security Council on the state’s view on the matter.

“I will chair an emergency meeting with all agencies tomorrow to make a decision on the matter.

“It is my commitment to ensure the people’s safety is guaranteed,” he said.

Earlier today, Chow confirmed that the state received its first medical charter flight from Indonesia last Friday.

Allaying fears, he said that the foreigners would be required to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place to stem the transmission of the virus.

Following the report, the state came under intense fire from various quarters.

Explaining further, Chow said the Penang government was never informed about the flight until it was published in the media by the airline concerned last Friday.

“Also, we were never informed on the arrival of three Indonesian patients to private hospitals here.

“Following the news report, I obtained information from the state Health Department and the state National Security Council about the three patients and was told they had all adhered to the SOP set by the relevant agencies, including the

Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) and the Immigration Department,” he added, expressing thanks for all the feedback received from the people on the matter.

Penang has recorded seven positive Covid-19 cases, including one today, since last Friday, ending the state’s three-month ‘green’ status.

All the cases were linked to Kedah’s Sivagangga and Tawar clusters, and Perak’s Kurau cluster.


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