Tuesday, February 23, 2021

MCO reinstated in 6 states as PM warns of breaking point

MCO to be implemented in Penang, Selangor, the federal territories, Melaka, Johor and Sabah.

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Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today announced a two-week lockdown across six states including the Klang Valley area, warning that the healthcare system had hit the breaking point as Covid-19 numbers remain firmly entrenched in the four-digit range.

He also announced a ban on interstate travel across the country.

The lockdown period in Penang, Selangor, the federal territories, Melaka, Johor and Sabah will run from Jan 13 to Jan 26, with inter-district travel in these states banned for the same duration.

Pahang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan meanwhile will be placed under conditional MCO while Perlis and Sarawak will come under recovery MCO.

In an address aired live, Muhyiddin said stricter measures must be taken to break the chain of infections and reduce the number of daily cases to a controllable level.

“Our healthcare system is at the breaking point.”

This follows weeks of concern over Covid-19 infections which breached the 3,000 mark for the first time on Jan 7.

For states under MCO, movements will be restricted to within a 10km radius. Two people per household will be allowed to leave the house for groceries and travel in the same vehicle.

Social activities will be banned, including large-scale gatherings for events such as wedding feasts, conferences, courses, religious events including for Thaipusam, meetings, seminars and team sports.

Five sectors categorised as essential are allowed to remain open: manufacturing, construction, services, trade and distribution, and plantations and commodities. However, only 30% of the management workforce will be allowed to work from the office while the number of support staff needed at any point will be determined by individual employers subject to SOPs including physical distancing.

For sectors not categorised as essential services, employers must work from home.

In states under MCO, eateries are only allowed to provide takeaway services. For states under CMCO and RMCO, eateries can continue operating as usual according to SOPs.

Students sitting for public examinations such as SPM for the 2020 and 2021 sessions will be allowed to attend school subject to strict SOPs.

For religious activities, only committee members of mosques and houses of worship will be allowed on-premise with a limit of five people. For states under CMCO and RMCO, religious activities are allowed to continue with attendance capped according to SOPs.

People will be allowed to leave their homes for leisure activities only with other members of the same household, with a two-metre distance between one another at all times.

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