The mandatory 10-day COVID-19 quarantine exemption accorded to ministers have courted flak from netizens and politicians alike.

Today, the hashtag #AdhamBabaLetakJawatan is trending on the Malaysian Twitter sphere, urging Health Minister Dr Adham Baba to step down for signing the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Exemption) Order 2021, which takes effect today.

The order allows cabinet minister who return from official visits abroad to undergo only three days of observation or surveillance for COVID-19, before they are discharged with a clean bill of health.

Netizens are decrying the double standards of the exemption, even when ministers and deputies have previously been stricken with COVID-19.

Pekan MP Najib Razak said the exemption could lead the ministers under exemption importing new variants of the coronavorus into Malaysia.

The average incubation period before the COVID-19 infection is detectable is five to six days - far more than the three day surveillance period under the new exemption, the former premier said in a Facebook post today.

"There's a risk of those infected being released early and end up infecting more people under the mistaken assumption that they are free of COVID-19.

"It's even more dangerous if those wrongly released early carry the deadlier COVID-19 mutations, such as the UK variant and the South African variant," he wrote.

DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang also in a statement, urged Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to keep up to his previous pledge of not having double standards in SOPs (standard operating procedures) implementation between politicians and ordinary citizens, by ordering Adham to retract the exemption.

New COVID-19 infections in the country have hovered in the thousands daily, bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country to 245,552 and 896, respectively.

Globally, the coronavirus has infected over 106 million people and killed more than 2.3 million.

Photo source: Astro Awani