Minister breaks quarantine: We are not informed – Health DG

Minister breaks quarantine: We are not informed – Health DG

PUTRAJAYA: Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pix) today clarified that the top officials of the ministry were in the dark about Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali’s violation of home quarantine rules.

Dr Noor Hisham said that they only found out last week from media reports about the matter, and he himself had only received the full report yesterday from an internal investigation.

“I got the report via internal investigation only yesterday, full report of what happened on the ground. So it’s very important for our frontliners, whatever happens on the ground, to inform us or their superiors so that action can be taken as soon as possible.

“So what we did was we started the investigation because the DG (director-general), the deputy director-general and also head of the infectious diseases department have not been informed. That’s the reason why we ordered the internal investigation,” he told a press conference on Covid-19 development here.

Explaining further, Dr Noor Hisham said that the case was now under police investigation and they would leave it to the police to do their inquiry.

“Internal investigation has been done and I’ve seen the report which has been given to the police. So we will leave it to police to do the investigation and take the necessary action. So, let the police do their job and address this issue as soon as possible,“ he said.

Mohd Khairuddin is said to have breached the home quarantine order by attending the Dewan Rakyat sitting on July 13.

The Minister reportedly returned from Turkey on July 7 and the first nasopharyngeal swab sample was taken on the same day and was found to be negative. The second and third Covid-19 screening tests also showed negative results.

Earlier, Seputeh Member of Parliament Teresa Kok claimed that the minister did not undergo the 14 days quarantine after returning from a visit to Turkey.

As a result, Mohd Khairuddin, who is also a PAS central committee member, was criticised by many parties because the minister himself did not comply with the SOPs set by the authorities, in particular defying the quarantine instructions for Malaysian citizens returning home from abroad.

Following that, Mohd Khairuddin was compounded RM1,000 for committing an offence under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020 and Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1998 (Act 342).

He had since apologised and given four months’ salary, from May to August, as a minister to the national Covid-19 Fund under the Health Ministry. — Bernama