Sunday, July 25, 2021

Don’t panic, says Muhyiddin as govt announces more targeted lockdowns

'Dad' might be forced to use the stick, the prime minister quips.

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Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today announced that targeted movement control orders would be implemented in areas affected by the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, while assuring the public that no nationwide lockdown would be reinstated.

“I hope you do not panic and make your own conclusions on what we are facing. Avoid fake news that creates confusion among us,” he said in a speech streamed live on Facebook from his home where he is under quarantined.

He said the government would only act based on authoritative data, and noted that there were all sorts of suggestions given to him personally as well as on social media.

“What is important is that we do not point fingers to blame certain parties,” he said, urging the public to ignore those out to exploit the current spike for their own interests.

He said the government was aware of the anxieties among parents over their children’s safety in schools, adding that only schools in red zone areas such as Sabah would be closed.

He said any directive to shut down schools nationwide would only be decided by a special meeting of the National Security Council.

He said similarly, any move to ban interstate travel would only be decided by the council.

Muhyiddin also said the government would defer a ban on travel in and out of Sabah to Oct 12, taking into account the plight of those who have been stranded.

No double standards

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin expressed regret that people have not been following health SOPs to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that he had personally witnessed the violation of physical distancing rules during the recent Sabah election campaign.

He also rejected claims of double standards in implementing the SOPs, saying he himself was told to stay indoors.

“Covid-19 does not discriminate over one’s title or status, it can infect anyone. So everyone must abide by the SOPs,” he said today, just minutes after the health ministry announced a record high of 691 new cases.

He said health authorities have also increased screening activities.

“We are now better prepared than before in terms of experience and manpower. We know the behaviour of the virus. But we need to break the transmission of the virus,” he said.

In a lighter tone, Muhyiddin said he would come down hard on Malaysians who refuse to abide by the SOPs.

“Excuse me if Abah (dad) is forced to use the stick,” he quipped.

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