“On Current Action: Dr Noor Hisham: Malaysia Begins Discussions with Australia Regarding “Green Bubble”

Preliminary talks were conducted already with Australia on introducing the “green bubble” definition, Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah stated. He said earlier negotiations with Singapore and Brunei had begun, although earlier talks with Australia that began yesterday will continue until reaching a conclusion.

They (the Ministry of Health) will look at the actual scenario in the respective countries and the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which can be implemented in both countries. He said this when questioned regarding the progress of negotiations with other countries to introduce the “green bubble” idea.

He said there were already negotiations under way and regulation was not completed. Talks are on determining the groups permitted with Singapore, and the matter will be revealed later.

The “green bubble” concept involves easement of travel restrictions between two or more countries that record low local Covid-19 infection. Of this reason the government had previously established six nations, namely Singapore, Australia, Brunei, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.

Dr Noor Hisham commented on the Covid-19 detection test fees provided by MOH that the fees will be levied on those returning from overseas and on those seeking the check.

Persons under inquiry (PUI), those under observation (PUS), and those who come to the Serious Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and Influenza Like Disease (ILI) clinic as well as cases under the Enhanced Motion Management Order (ECMO) are not prosecuted. The health ministry will cover the expenses.

On Sabah’s decision to allow foreign workers from China to enter the country, Dr Noor Hisham said the Immigration Department approved the entry of foreign nationals into Malaysia under the Jobs Pass 1 (EP1) category. He said the groups allowed are those with long-term visas, and others with concerns including commercial activities that may be eligible for EP1 visas.

Dr. Noor Hisham, however, said foreigners are allowed to use a swab check and a 14-day home quarantine. As for international students who wanted to join Malaysia, he said the matter was being researched and discussed, but a swab check and the 14-day quarantine would have to be performed. This also refers to patients abroad and the hospitals in question will decide to recognize them as patients, he added.

Dr Noor Hisham said permission was one of the requirements to ease the criteria for entering Malaysia but the MOH SOP should be adhered to.

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