Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Use of tracking device among new provisions under emergency ordinance

The wristband will be made mandatory for those who test positive for Covid-19, persons under investigation and those under surveillance.

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The order to wear a tracking device is among five new provisions under the Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 which will come into force on March 11, says Health Minister Dr Adham Baba.

He said the high-tech device in the form of a wristband, aimed at controlling movement, will be mandatory for those three categories, namely individuals who test positive for Covid-19, persons under investigation (PUI) or close contacts of Covid-19 patients; and persons under surveillance (PUS).

“The device is to be worn for 10 days,” he told a press conference with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Takiyuddin Hassan, at the health ministry today.

He said a penalty would be imposed if the tracking device is destroyed, damaged, lost or altered.

Another new provision is Section 21A, which allows the health director-general to issue general or specific instructions to any individual for the prevention of infection and implementation of control measures.

Still another is Part IV A on enforcement which enables powers of investigation to provide information in relation to the prevention and control of infectious diseases, he said.

Section 22A of the new provision meanwhile will enable corporate bodies to be charged with offences under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

A new section, Section 31, empowers the authorities to impose penalties under Act 342 for “any offence not stated in it”.

This new subsection will determine any action which is a violation as an offence, punishable by a maximum fine of RM50,000, imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.

“Legal action is not merely a form of punishment but also a preventive measure to end the spread of Covid-19 in the country,” said Adham.

Meanwhile, Takiyuddin said some 4,000 personnel from the local authorities (PBT) and the Road Transport Department (JPJ) would be mobilised to assist the police to monitor compliance with the SOPs set out by the National Security Council and health ministry.

“The PBT and JPJ staff have the authority to issue compounds as well as to advise those who do not adhere to the SOPs. Guidelines on the issuance of compounds will be given to the authorities,” he said.

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