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Health DG: No More Than 4 Weeks MCO, This Is What We’ll Do Instead

Health DG: No More Than 4 Weeks MCO, This Is What We’ll Do Instead

The biggest concern is balancing between life and livelihood.

Kirat Kaur

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The Movement Control Order (MCO) will be implemented for four weeks only with no more extensions, assured Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

In an online media briefing last night (25 Jan), Dr Noor Hisham explained that this is to minimise the economic impact of a lockdown, which saw the government losing RM2.4 billion per day during the first MCO last year.

This time, he said, the MCO’s purpose was to stabilise the nation’s number of infections which had been on the rise since October 2020.

We do not want to prolong it, because we must balance both life and livelihood.

Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Health Director-General via New Straits Times.
Credit: Ahmad Zamzahuri/Malay Mail

The plan after MCO

With the entire nation – except Sarawak – under MCO until 4th February and daily case numbers still past the 3k mark, the next step is to implement a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) for three months.

This is to reduce the daily case numbers to double digits.

According to Malaysia Gazette, Dr Noor Hisham is confident that the high number of cases would be reduced if the measures are effectively implemented.

So if we implement MCO for four weeks until February, followed by CMCO for three months, it is expected that by May we will be able to reduce the case to two digits.

Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Health Director-General via Malaysia Gazette.

Tighter SOPs on the way?

In a statement released yesterday (25 Jan), International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali explained that the recent calls to re-impose a total lockdown to deal with the current surge of new cases must be considered along with alternative strategies.

The Senior Minister proposed that the government could consider tightening the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to prevent further Covid-19 outbreaks, as well as provide clear guidance on geospatial planning such as quantifying indoor settings at any given time.

He also said that targeted testing can be stepped-up, as well as regulating the costs of RTK-Antigen test kits to make Covid-19 testing more affordable and on a larger scale, particularly for industries.

Tightening SOP for social events while imposing a full ban on interstate travel for the interim is also being considered.

In any event, the call is for businesses to open on the condition precedent of full compliance with stricter SOP.

Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, International Trade and Industry Minister.

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