PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) will be holding discussions with the Health Ministry (MOH) on converting tour vans into ambulances to assist in Covid-19 emergency cases.
Welcoming the initiative announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Friday, its minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the initiative was also being refined on the technical aspects with the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD).
“This initiative also helps tour van operators who are affected by the current movement control which does not allow cross-state activities, thus affecting the tourism industry,” she said in a statement today.
On Friday, Ismail Sabri said about 100 tourist vans would be converted into ambulances to help in emergency cases involving Covid-19, especially in the Klang Valley.
According to Ismail Sabri, the move planned under the Greater Klang Valley Special Task Force is a follow-up measure to tackle the current Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country, especially to address complaints of ambulance delays to take patients from their homes who are experiencing situations such as shortness of breath and need immediate treatment.
Nancy said Motac would also consult with tourist van associations to see if the criteria met the requirements of APAD for the purpose.
She said tour van permits for Peninsular Malaysia is under the jurisdiction of APAD and any matter involving modifications is subject to the agency’s approval.
For Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, tour vehicle permits are issued by the Ministry under the Tourism Vehicles Licensing Act 1999 (Act 594).
Nancy added that APAD permits were only issued to tour van operators whose travel agencies were licensed by the Ministry under the Tourism Industry Act 1992. – Bernama