Monday, September 20, 2021

Most states expected to move to Phase Four earliest by October, says PM

He says states that have transitioned to the next phase will not regress as the National Recovery Plan emphasises the exit strategy.

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Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today said the government anticipates that most states will move into Phase Four or the final phase of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) by October, at the earliest.

In his briefing on the NRP at the special sitting of the Dewan Rakyat today, he said this was based on the continuous efforts to ensure the recovery process and the immunisation programme which is running smoothly at the moment.

He said apart from monitoring the situation in each state and taking the necessary intervention measures from time to time, the government would also continue carrying out a risk assessment in terms of the readiness of states to move to the next phase of the NRP.

“I would like to explain that the government had decided, during the special meeting of the National Security Council, that for states which are already in Phase Two, they will not return to Phase One and the states which have moved into Phase Three will not go back to Phase Two.

“This is because the NRP approach emphasises on exit strategy and no turning back,” he said.

The NRP, which was announced on June 15, underlined four transition phases with every phase of transition for each state to be assessed and considered based on three key threshold indicators, namely the average daily cases, bed occupancy at the ICUs and the percentage of the fully vaccinated adults.

So far, eight states have moved into Phase Two of the NRO: Perlis, Perak, Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak.

Muhyiddin said if there is an increase in the number of cases in those states, the government will tighten movement controls based on the localities involved without imposing a comprehensive control on the state or district as is now the case.

“We plan, but surely Allah is the best of planners,” he added.

He said transition from one phase to another would involve allowing economic and social activities in stages. He said it would not follow any schedule, but would be based on the state’s achievement in reducing the capacity pressure on health systems and increasing the level of people’s protection through vaccination.

Muhyiddin said the recovery plan undertaken by the government was also being implemented in other countries including the UK, Australia and Singapore.

“We have looked into, learnt and emulated the best practices of those countries to ensure that the NRP can be made an important guide and solid foundation to the national recovery process,” he said.

Muhyiddin said the NRP was formulated based on five main criteria: the need to protect lives and livelihoods; dynamic and based on science and data; to provide an explanation as a guide to detail the planning and emphasise the aspect of transparency; to adopt the whole-of-nation approach; and always being monitored to evaluate its effectiveness through effective reporting and communication strategies.

“In short, the NRP is a recovery plan focusing on the strategies to take the country to exit the threats of the Covid-19 pandemic safely and systematically.

“The phases outlined are focused on alleviating the burden on the public health system, reopening the economic sectors, and allowing social activities in the next six months until the end of this year.

“The NRP is not static. It is dynamic, comprehensive and can be improved according to current needs and situations,” he added.

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