Monday, November 23, 2020

No need for nationwide lockdown again, says minister

Minister Redzuan Yusof says Covid-19 cases in the country are still under control.

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Living on a prayer after pandemic-related ban on religious activities

For many imams, the events that once earned them an income on the side have been brought to a halt by the various lockdowns.

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The government today said there is no need to re-implement a nationwide movement control order (MCO) as Covid-19 cases are still under control.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Redzuan Yusof also said the health ministry and National Security Council had the situation well in hand.

Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat today, he said the government would consider enforcing an MCO again in order to flatten the curve if the rate of infection outstripped the rate of recovery.

“(But) a total lockdown is unnecessary because we are now at the recovery stage with an exit policy like I previously said,” he added.

“The country’s crisis management has succeeded in controlling the spread of Covid-19 and preventing health facilities such as hospitals and clinics from being overburdened with high numbers of cases.”

He added that only those with symptoms would need to be screened for the virus.

“The people are now aware that the infection is in the community, and that as long as there is no vaccine, anyone can become infected at any time.”

Redzuan was responding to Shahidan Kassim (BN-Arau), who had asked if the government would bring back the MCO given the recent spikes in daily Covid-19 numbers.

Redzuan said doing so would jeopardise the economy and have a negative impact on mental health, especially for those who have already been hard hit by the pandemic.

“The government implemented the MCO at that time because the methods to control the spread of infection were not yet refined,” he said.

“Back then, it was a work in progress to study the SOPs that could be used to balance economic, physical and social activities.”

The MCO, introduced on March 18, was replaced with a conditional MCO which ran from May 13 to June 9.

From June 10 onwards, the country was placed under recovery MCO although several states including Selangor and Sabah reverted to conditional MCO last month.

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