KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) justified today advising a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) on the Klang Valley to prevent coronavirus infection from spreading across districts or states.
In a virtual press conference reporting on Malaysia’s daily Covid-19 cases, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that although Klang Valley has been reporting fewer than 100 cases a day, Malaysia’s main economic centre of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur have still been consistently reporting cases every day.
“These cases are scattered in the Klang Valley and spread in all districts except Sabak Bernam,” Dr Noor Hisham said.
“We cannot wait for and watch for the yellow zones to become red zones to have targeted enhanced movement control order (TEMCO) or enhanced movement control order (EMCO).
“If the transmission of infection is confined to one or two districts only, then the TEMCO approach can be implemented. However, if the infection has spread to each district in the state and continuously records new cases every day, this means the spread of the infection can no longer be effectively curbed.
“Therefore, the best approach to break the chain of transmission of infection is to implement CMCO throughout the state, so that cross-district or state transmission can be controlled and effectively curbed.”
Earlier today, Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that CMCO will be implemented in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, and Putrajaya from October 14 to October 27, claiming that economic activities would still be allowed to continue, even though the lockdown order generally prohibits residents from leaving their homes except to go to work or to buy necessities.
The Defence Ministry also told the press that dine-ins and jogging in public areas would not be permitted during the CMCO in the Klang Valley, while people must produce work passes or employment letters at police checkpoints to cross borders between Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, and Putrajaya. Schools and places of worship will also be shuttered, while all sports, social, and recreational activities are prohibited.
The Selangor state government has opposed the CMCO, saying that Covid-19 infection in several green and yellow zones in the country’s most developed state were still under control.
According to MOH’s 14-day moving chart, the Selangor districts of Petaling and Klang were red zones as of yesterday, recording 53 and 82 local Covid-19 cases respectively within the past fortnight. Other Selangor districts, except for Sabak Bernam with zero cases, were yellow, reporting fewer than 41 coronavirus cases. Selangor reported 224 local Covid-19 cases within the past 14 days.
Kuala Lumpur reported 34 local Covid-19 cases within the past fortnight as of yesterday; all districts in the capital city were yellow, recording fewer than 41 Covid-19 infections. Putrajaya merely recorded 13 local Covid-19 cases in the past fortnight.
MOH has yet to release its 14-day moving chart with today’s Covid-19 statistics according to districts. Red zones are districts reporting 41 local Covid-19 cases or more within the past fortnight; yellow zones are districts with 40 new local cases and below; while green zones have reported zero new local infections in the past 14 days.
A World Health Organization (WHO) leading specialist on Covid-19 has warned countries against using lockdowns as a primary method of containing the coronavirus, saying it could dramatically impact poverty.
“Look what’s happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition,” WHO envoy Dr David Nabarro was quoted saying, Yahoo News Australia reported earlier today.
Dr Noor Hisham said today that the CMCO is a balance between life and livelihood, as the lockdown still allows the economic sector to function, but restricts movements for education, social activity, and sports.
“We hope to strike the right balance. I think it is very important to make the right decision so that we can actually balance between life and livelihood,” Dr Noor Hisham said.
He said that the Ministry of Health (MOH) will be continuously monitoring the situation closely.
563 New Covid-19 Cases, Six Clusters, Two Deaths
MOH reported today 563 new Covid-19 cases, six new clusters, and two deaths (both in Sabah). From the 563 cases, one was imported, 291 were reported in Sabah, while 141 cases were reported In Penjara Reman cluster in Penang. The imported case was a Malaysian who returned from Indonesia.
Malaysia’s coronavirus death toll has increased to 159 cases, as two new fatalities were reported today. Death case 159 that was reported in Tuaran Hospital, Sabah, involved a foreigner, a 48-year-old woman of whom MOH did not record any history of underlying medical conditions.
Another death was reported in Tawau Hospital, involving an 85-year-old Malaysian woman with a history of hypertension, heart disease, and chronic lung disease.
Six new coronavirus clusters were reported today: Kuala Lumpur (two clusters), Sabah (one cluster), Selangor (one cluster), Johor (one cluster), and Putrajaya (one cluster).
Baiduri cluster was first detected in the index case during a pre-operative screening on October 7. This cluster involves the district of Hulu Langat, Selangor and Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. Upon close contact screening, a total of 18 individuals have been detected positive with Covid-19 in this cluster, while nine individuals are still waiting for their results.
The second cluster, Bah Perdana cluster in Kuala Lumpur, was also detected in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. The index case was detected positive with Covid-19 on September 28 during a screening of Sabah returnees. Close contact screening detected a total of nine individuals, positive with Covid-19.
A new cluster, Kolong cluster that was detected in Keningau, Sabah, was first identified in the index case during a community screening on October 7. During close contact screening, a total of eight individuals were tested positive from this cluster.
Bah Tropicana cluster is a new cluster reported in Petaling, Selangor. The index case was identified during a Sabah returnee screening on October 2. So far, a total of 14 individuals have been detected positive with Covid-19.
A new cluster was reported in Johor today — Rinting cluster. This cluster has been identified in Johor Baru and Melaka. The index case of the cluster was detected during a back to work screening on October 7. A total of eight individuals have been detected positive with Covid-19 from this cluster so far.
The Bah Kasturi cluster reported in Putrajaya has spread to Seremban, Cheras, Klang, Petaling, Hulu Langat, Gombak, and Kuala Langat. The index case was identified during a Sabah returnee screening on September 24 and upon close contact screening, a total of 18 individuals have been detected positive from this cluster.
Covid-19 cases today were reported in Sabah (291 cases), Penang (141 cases), Selangor (69 cases), Kuala Lumpur (27 cases), Negri Sembilan (12 cases), Kedah (10 cases), Perak (four cases), Johor (two cases), Putrajaya (two cases), Labuan (two cases), Sarawak (one case), and Melaka (one case).
Currently, Malaysia has a total of 5,039 active Covid-19 cases, including 98 patients in the intensive care unit, with 29 of them on ventilator support.
A total of 109 individuals have recovered today, bringing the total number of recoveries to 11,022 cases.