Malaysian government tightens SOPs for arrivals hinh anh 1A man wearing a face mask is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 18, 2020. (Photo:
Kuala Lumpur (VNA) - The Malaysian government has tightened standard operating procedures (SOP) for those travelling into the country in order to reduce the risk of importing COVID-19 variants.

In a statement, Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said all travellers must undergo PCR COVID-19 testing three days before their departure date and upon arrival into the country.

The mandatory quarantine period for both Malaysians and non-citizens coming in from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan are now extended to 21 days.

He added that those entering Malaysia from other countries are required to undergo 14-day quarantine in government-designated centres.

However, the 14-day quarantine period would be extended for another seven days, based on the risk assessment.

Noor Hisham said the COVID-19 PCR tests will be repeated on the 10th day of quarantine for those undergoing 14-day quarantine, and if repeat results are found to be negative, they will be released on the 14th day.

Meanwhile, for travellers undergoing a quarantine period of 21 days, COVID-19 PCR repeat tests should be performed on the 18th day and if found negative, they will be released on the 21st day.

Noor Hisham also shared that six new COVID-19 cases involving Variant of Concerns (VOC) were confirmed in the country between June 20 and June 22, with five of them involving the Beta variant and one involving the Delta variant.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases involving VOC or Variant of Interest (VOI) to 189.

Of them, 173 are related to VOC, while 16 are related to VOI, he said./.