Quarantine centres reach breaking point

Quarantine centres reach breaking point

PETALING JAYA: As the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise, quarantine centres around the country are being stretched to breaking point.

For instance, at the Covid-19 Integrated Quarantine and Treatment Centre 2.0 in Serdang, people have begun to complain about having to sleep without blankets and pillows.

Muslims who are fasting claim that there is no proper food for breaking of fast.

The quarantine centre, housed at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS), is now a temporary home for more than 3,200 people. It can accommodate up to 5,000 people at any one time, according to the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma).

A 27-year-old patient who gave her name as Aqilah, said she had to wait for 11 hours to get a bed.

“I arrived here at 4pm and only got a bed at 3am the next day,” she told theSun.

Despite her discomfort, Aqilah expressed empathy for the centre’s frontliners. “I know they are doing their best. With the number of cases rising so fast, inadequacies such as a shortage of beds and pillows are bound to happen.”

Fortunately for her, Aqilah brought along a blanket from home, but she ended up sleeping without a pillow.

She has to be quarantined until the end of next week, which means that she will be spending Hari Raya Aidilfitri away from home.

Another patient, in his 50s, complained that for someone his age, it was not easy to wait in line for hours even though he
had a chair.

“The place was so crowded with people, and I was forced to wait from 6pm until midnight just to get a bed. We were told that they were short of beds. I should have chosen to be quarantined at home with the pink wristband on.”

He said he also did not have a blanket but fortunately, the patient in the next bed offered him one. “He had brought his own blanket so he didn’t need the one issued by the centre.”

It was cold in the night and the jacket he had brought along was not enough to keep him warm, he added.

The patient said he was only given plain bread for breaking of fast. “I was told that there was a shortage of food.”

“It’s advisable to bring your own food, pillow, blanket and all other necessities.”

Nadma spokesman Hadi Kassim refuted the allegations, adding that the centre can accommodate about 5,000 patients, and that beds, pillows and blankets are still available for new patients.

Hadi said the number of patients took a significant jump when more than 1,000 were admitted last Saturday.