Wednesday, May 18, 2022

No more MCO, just stricter border controls, says Hishammuddin

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says the majority of Omicron cases in the country comprise those returning from overseas.

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The government will not reimpose the movement control order (MCO), but stricter control measures will be implemented at the country’s entry and exit points in a bid to curb Covid-19, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said today.

Taking into account the latest developments involving the Omicron variant, he said, control measures would be improved, including by adding more countries to the high-risk list.

“So far, 245 cases of Omicron variant have been confirmed in Malaysia. The majority of the cases still involve those returning from overseas.

“We will implement stricter controls, but a full-scale MCO will not be implemented again,” he told a press conference after the Covid-19 quartet ministers’ meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

Also present were Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong and National Unity Minister Halimah Mohamed Saddique.

Hishammuddin said the government’s focus at the moment was on efforts to transition into the endemic phase which had been hampered by several issues.

He said the government was also monitoring the status of the Malaysia-Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane initiative and looking into the possibility of implementing it with other countries including Indonesia and Thailand.

“However, this depends on the Covid-19 situation, not only in those countries but also in ours,” he said.

Hishammuddin also said the health ministry and other stakeholders are in the midst of finalising the SOPs for Thaipusam and Chinese New Year, which he added would be announced soon by the relevant ministries.

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