Malaysian govt explains why PM Muhyiddin was not wearing Covid-19 quarantine wristband

Malaysians noticed that Mr Muhyiddin wasn't wearing a pink band when he addressed the nation on TV and social media on Oct 6, 2020. PHOTO: MUHYIDDIN YASSIN/FACEBOOK

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian netizens have questioned why Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was not wearing a pink wristband, to denote he is under Covid-19 quarantine, unlike other Malaysians who flew in recently from Sabah where there is a coronavirus outbreak.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin flew back into Peninsular Malaysia after the Sept 26 Sabah state polls.

Other passengers flying in were checked for their health at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and were attached with the plastic wristbands for two weeks.

This meant that they had to quarantine at home or in government-approved centres for two weeks, even if they had immediately tested negative. The bracelets would be snipped off once they aren't Covid-19 positive after the 14-day period.

Malaysians noticed that Mr Muhyiddin wasn't wearing a pink band when he addressed the nation on TV and social media on Tuesday (Oct 6), local media reported.

At one point PM Muhyiddin said that there is no double standards in how citizens are treated from Cabinet ministers. He said six ministers and seven deputy ministers are on home quarantine after flying in from Sabah.

Responding to public queries, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Wednesday (Oct 7) said that Mr Muhyiddin did not breach any Health Ministry orders by not wearing the Covid-19 monitoring bracelet.

The PMO said that this was because he had tested negative and was on self-quarantine, as advised by the Health Ministry.

The PMO said Mr Muhyiddin had tested negative for Covid-19 four times in a row - on Sept 22, 26, 29 and on Oct 5, The Star online news reported the statement as saying.

"The Prime Minister was not given any monitoring bracelet by the Health Ministry," the PMO statement said.

"Based on the risk assessment by Health ministry officials on Oct 5, the Prime Minister was advised to self-quarantine and conduct self-health monitoring at home every day for 14 days using the home-assessment tool in MySejahtera app," PMO said.

The government-issued app allows users to perform health self-assessment on themselves and their family members.

"Therefore, he was not required by the Health Ministry to wear a monitoring bracelet. The allegations of Muhyiddin having breached the orders of the Health Ministry is not true," the statement said.

"The results of the Covid-19 screening on the Prime Minister on Oct 5 proved to be negative on Oct 6. Besides that, he had also undergone three Covid-19 screenings in the past three weeks.

The PMO added: "The Prime Minister was, however, advised to get immediate treatment if he suffers any symptoms during the monitoring period.

"His condition remains good, and he will continue to be in self-quarantine until the end of the 14-day period, as set by the Health Ministry."

Malaysia on Tuesday reported 691 new cases, a record high, with most cases coming from Kedah and Sabah.

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