30 December 2020
People flying into the peninsula from Sabah are left puzzled after finding themselves categorised as asymptomatic cases by the health ministry despite having tested negative for Covid-19.
They said they were tested three days before their flight and had obtained evidence that they were free from Covid-19 but were deemed to be asymptomatic when they landed at the airport.
One of them, A Vincent, told FMT he had flown in from Kota Kinabalu with his wife on Sunday after their swab test results came back negative.
However, he said, the doctor on duty at klia2’s health centre overrode their test results and recorded them as asymptomatic patients without doing any examination.
Vincent’s asymptomatic status has since been picked up by the MySejahtera application, labelling him as a Person Under Surveillance (PUS) and preventing him from checking in at certain locations.
“It is unfair to me because as long as I am described as asymptomatic, it means I could be carrying the undetected virus,” he said.
“How did the doctor come up with the conclusion that I was asymptomatic? Are all travellers from Sabah automatically classified under this category?”
He asked whether those travelling from Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, which are now red zones, were having a similar experience when crossing state borders.
Another Sabahan, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was unaware of her status as an asymptomatic case until she attempted to check in at a furniture store.
“The security guard saw that I was a PUS and told me I could not enter,” she said. “I showed him the paper of my Covid-19 test, but got a shock when I saw the word ‘asymptomatic’ written there.”
She said she called the health ministry’s Covid-19 hotline to clarify the issue, but to no avail.
It was only after she emailed MySejahtera that her status reverted back to “low-risk”. She added that her friend who flew in from Sabah last month had also faced the same problem.
“Why make us pay for the test but categorise us as asymptomatic? Do they even know what asymptomatic means?
“Why is it that ministers who are issued home surveillance orders can leave their homes in personal protective equipment to attend Parliament but we normal folk are getting falsely diagnosed and asked to go home?”
She also asked why those boarding a two-hour flight from Sabah were required to take the test when people travelling interstate in confined buses for six hours were not.
“Now, when I go back to Sabah, I will have to pay RM180 again for another test,” she said. “It is a burden.”
FMT has contacted the health ministry for clarification and is awaiting a response.