Five tourists bound for Langkawi have been found to be COVID-19 positive, on the first day of the travel bubble pilot programme to the popular resort island, yesterday.

According to Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, all of the positive cases were detected via COVID-19 screenings before the tourists boarded the ferry or flight to the island in Kedah.

Noor Hisham noted that as many as 2,546 people were screened at the air and sea entryway to the island, and all of the positive cases were in Category 1 and asymptomatic.

All the five were given a 10-day house surveillance order, the Malay Mail quoted the DG saying in a statement.

The Langkawi Development Authority had earlier estimated some 300,000 tourists to arrive on the island until the end of the month, after Putrajaya kicked off the domestic travel bubble programme yesterday.

Meanwhile, yet another popular island destination, the Pangkor island in Perak, will not allow "walk-ins" when its own travel bubble initiative kicks off in November.

Perak Housing, Local Government, and Tourist Committee chairman Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi said those planning to visit the island must make prior online reservations for accommodation and ferry, to avoid congestion during their trip.

The number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed the 2 million mark, while 22,355 people have died from the virus.

Globally, more than 227 million people have been infected by the virus, and over 4.68 million have died from it.

Source: Malay Mail, Bernama
Photo source: Reuters via Malay Mail