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The Malaysian government has never prohibited senior citizens and children from going to public places. However, they have repeatedly urged that the public refrain from doing so because the elderly and children are considered Covid-19 high-risk groups.
What you need to know: Senior Minister (Defence) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said during his daily press brief today that these groups were merely discouraged from going out because they have been identified as high-risk groups.
Why it matters: Although a lot of the news headlines sound like he said that it is prohibited, he actually never explicitly said this. He only urged and advised people to refrain from doing so.
Who said what: Ismail Sabri reminded the public that there are no penalties or punishments in doing so, but that the government still thinks it’s probably a bad idea to have them out and about.
The Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) does not prohibit the elderly and children from visiting public places such as shopping complexes and so on. However, the government advises them not to visit such places as they are among those considered high-risk for Covid-19.Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob via Berita Harian (Translated from BM)
How it got here: The government has talked about the elderly and children being high-risk Covid-19 groups many times before. In April, the National Safety Council posted a video on Facebook reminding the public to take care of these citizens.
In May, Ismail Sabri himself urged the public to refrain from bringing children and the elderly out of the house during the Covid-19 outbreak, saying that all parties have a responsibility to ensure their high-risk family members are safe and free from Covid-19 infection.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah during his own press conference also echoed Ismail Sabri’s sentiments, highlighting that children may develop a Kawasaki-like disease if infected with Covid-19.
Then, in June after the recovery movement control order was announced, Ismail Sabri touched on the issue again saying that while there are no penalties put in place, precautions must be taken to protect them during the ongoing pandemic.
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