Lockdown May Return If Covid-19 Cases Surge: Minister

Ismail Sabri Yaakob points out Saudi Arabia will lock down during Hari Raya.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob warned Malaysians today that the Movement Control Order (MCO) could be reimposed if coronavirus cases spiked.

He pointed out that Saudi Arabia has instituted a lockdown during Hari Raya for five days from May 23 to 27.

“We are lucky because we have some loosening of restrictions,” Ismail Sabri told a press conference.

“Current conditions may change, they may change tomorrow or the day after. If we want things to remain the same, we must follow each instruction issued by the government. If the situation changes, if data shows an exponential surge, maybe the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) can’t be continued and the MCO will be re-imposed.”

Ismail Sabri said previously that Malaysians are limited to 20 visitors to their homes during Hari Raya celebrations, and only on the first day.

He also urged condominium managements in the city today to allow residents who have returned from their hometowns to go back to their homes.

“Many have been prohibited from entering their condominium or apartment and they’re forced to rent elsewhere. I hope the condominium management will reopen and allow residents or tenants to return home.”

Ismail Sabri further said condominium management should allow renovations, as the government has not prohibited this. Contractors must just follow government standard operating procedures (SOP) on safe distancing and good hygiene.

According to the minister, 3,735 construction sites have been examined so far, out of which 344 followed SOP, while 122 have been warned for breaching guidelines. Four construction sites have been closed for breaking SOP, while 3,265 construction sites are not in operation.

“Among the main conditions to allow construction sites to operate is to appoint a safety officer,” he said.

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