Tuesday, January 25, 2022

PM announces 4-phase exit plan, targets Parliament reopening in Sept/Oct

Transition between phases will be based on indicators including the state of Covid-19 transmission in the community and the capacity of the public health system.

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Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today gave his assurance that Parliament will reconvene under a four-phase National Recovery Plan that acts as the country’s exit plan from the Covid-19 crisis.

He said the country’s various sectors would re-open in phases, and that the third phase could see the reopening of Parliament, which has been suspended since the virus emergency was declared in January.

“I wish to pledge my commitment here that the parliamentary session can be convened during this phase in the month of September or October, subject to stringent SOPs.

“This has always been my stance that the parliamentary democratic system functions again at a suitable time, that is once Covid-19 cases are well controlled and when we are close to achieving herd immunity,” he said in a special address to announce the details of the exit plan today.

Muhyiddin also pledged to uphold parliamentary democracy and the constitutional monarchy.

“Never ever allow certain quarters to continue creating restlessness and confusion among the public and disrupt the government’s relentless and ongoing efforts in curbing the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

Muhyiddin said the transition between phases will be subject to improvements in the Covid-19 situation.

He said the current first phase, where most social and economic sectors have been shut down under the movement control order (MCO), would be followed by the second phase subject to several conditions.

These include daily new infections dropping below 4,000 cases, the easing of pressure on the public health system and the rate of fully vaccinated people hitting 10% of the population.

Under the second phase, economic activities will gradually resume with up to 80% working capacity allowed at premises and more business sectors allowed to open.

However, Muhyiddin said the ban on interstate travel and social gatherings would remain.

He said the third phase will see all economic activities allowed to operate, except those with high risk of Covid-19 transmission.

But he said this would be subject to daily cases dropping below 2,000, and 40% of the population being fully vaccinated.

“These thresholds are expected to be achieved at the earliest by the end of August 2021,” he added.

He expressed hope that the final phase would see a “return to normalcy”.

But he warned that the government would be forced to delay the transitions if the three key indicators – daily cases, hospital capacity and vaccination rate – are not fully met.

“Insha Allah, once we have achieved herd immunity in the fourth phase, all this can be done in stages with adherence to strict SOPs. Our ability to achieve herd immunity will depend on how many of our people have received the vaccinations,” said Muhyiddin.

He also said he understood that many Malaysians had been physically and emotionally affected by the pandemic.

“Some of you have lost your loved ones, are getting less income and are shrouded in prolonged anxiety. But we must never give up. We must continue to fight, unite and be together as strong, committed and dedicated Malaysians in ensuring the success of this National Recovery Plan.

“I promise that the government will continue to help the best we can, and that we will not give up in finding ways to get out of this crisis as soon as possible.”

The current lockdown was enforced on June 1. It was originally scheduled to end on June 14, but was extended to June 28 in light of the continuing trend of daily infections hovering at around 5,000.

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