No decision yet whether to cancel medical flight services, says Penang CM

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks to the press on the closure of Pg Care Apps during the press conference at Komtar, Penang August 5, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks to the press on the closure of Pg Care Apps during the press conference at Komtar, Penang August 5, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 16 — The Penang government said there has been no decision made regarding the cancellation of the medical charter flight services between Penang and Indonesia for the time being.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today said that the medical charter flights were still being allowed as long they are all subjected to the standard operating procedure (SOP) and have received proper clearances.

“But all of this will be reviewed from time to time,” he responded when asked if it was the right time to still allow inbound flights despite the increase of Covid-19 cases in Penang.

He added that he had no information on the number of patients and medical tourists from Indonesia arriving in Penang recently for medical tourism.

On August 14, AirAsia welcomed its first international medical charter flight from Medan to Penang International Airport.

On the same day, AirAsia.com chief executive officer Karen Chan said in a statement, announcing that the airline company is working closely with medical institutions and government authorities to ensure patients and medical tourists from Indonesia could have greater access to medical treatment and health services in Malaysia by providing medical charter flight services.

The announcement has sparked controversy on social media, expressing their concerns due to the high number of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia and the potential risk of Covid-19 transmission in Penang.

As of today, the Indonesia Health Ministry announced 2,081 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections nationwide to 139,549. — Bernama

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