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COVID-19: Malaysia plans to open international borders to these 6 countries

Although domestic travel is now permitted during the recovery movement control order, Malaysia’s international borders are still closed at the moment. While the country has been recording low double-digit numbers in the past few days, the government is looking at reopening our borders to 6 green zone countries.

According to Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the six countries include Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. He added that any agreement between the countries must be “mutual and reciprocal”.

The respective governments would have to discuss and finalise the SOP required between the countries which include the need for quarantine upon arrivals. Once governments on both sides are agreeable, then Malaysia could allow business, education and tourism sectors to be opened between the countries. According to the Health D-G, discussions with the relevant countries are still in its early stage.

Although our international borders are closed, returning Malaysians, permanent residents, ambassadors and those under Malaysia My Second Home programme are allowed to enter the country. With our current SOP, they must be screened and placed under a 14-day quarantine.

When the Health D-G was asked if opening borders with Singapore which currently has a high number of COVID-19 cases was a good idea, he said that most of their cases involved foreign workers. He said similar to Malaysia, Singapore’s numbers are high due to cases among foreign workers. He added that we won’t allow their foreign workers to enter our country, but we probably can allow Singaporeans that have not travelled to other countries recently.

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As of today, Malaysia has a total of 8,556 COVID-19 cases and 121 deaths. 8,146 or 95.21% of total cases have recovered, while there are 289 active cases remaining. Meanwhile in Singapore, there are 41,833 confirmed cases and 26 deaths reported so far. 33,459 cases or 79.98% of total cases have already recovered.

[ SOURCE, IMAGE SOURCE ]

Alexander Wong