ALOR SETAR, Oct 14 — Remand detainees and inmates at the Alor Setar and Pokok Sena prisons who are released will be placed at Covid-19 quarantine stations to undergo the mandatory quarantine process for two weeks.
Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said this is due to the spread of Covid-19 cases linked to the Tembok cluster following close contact with detainees released from both the prisons.
He said for a start, the state government has approved an allocation of RM100,000 to operate a special quarantine station for former detainees and prisoners.
“There are cases of detainees who were released and who was supposed to undergoing quarantine at home but did not do so because they may have been in prison for a long period and missed their family, so they may have been travelling everywhere.
“This has caused the Tembok cluster to spread out of the prison especially in Baling district after contact with family members and relatives of former detainees infected with Covid-19,” he said at a press conference after chairing the state executive council meeting here today.
Muhammad Sanusi said the state government has proposed for Institute Aminuddin Baki (IAB) in Jitra to house ex-prisoners and remand detainees as the institute has been gazetted as one of the quarantine stations to house Malaysians returning from abroad.
“I will hold a meeting with the State Security Special Committee (JKNN) Related to Covid-19 today and will determine the actual allocation requirements to operate quarantine stations, and whether it is necessary to open other quarantine stations for inmates who have been released.
“I was told by the Prisons Department, there are 20 prisoners or remand detainees released every day (from both prisons), if five days, it would be 100 individuals, so we must see the need to open other quarantine stations as IAB can only accommodate 100 people at one time,” he added.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Sanusi said as of yesterday, there were 1,353 Covid-19 cases active in the state and most of those involved the Tembok cluster (1,314 cases) which has now spread to seven districts.
He also explained the situation at the Pokok Sena and Alor Setar prisons was under control and there are a total of 1,195 inmates are being treated at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital here and prison treatment centre.
The government enforced the targeted enhanced movement control order (TEMCO) for 14 days in the Alor Setar Prison area effective October 6 while the Pokok Sena prison was placed under the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) beginning October 11.