KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — The government has permitted three people living in the same house to ride one private vehicle in states under a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) effective today.
“This is to enable the police to better enforce the rules and to be in line with the number of people allowed in taxis and e-hailing vehicles,” Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a press conference today.
Taxis and e-hailing vehicles are allowed to carry two passengers during movement restrictions imposed across Sabah and nearly the entire peninsula, except for Perlis, Pahang, and Kelantan, until December 6. The Sarawak state capital of Kuching is under a CMCO until November 22.
The National Security Council’s (NSC) decision today was a reversal of the standard operating procedure (SOP) it announced just two days ago that limited two people per household in one private vehicle, with the passenger allowed to sit in front.
The government’s new SOP on a three-person limit in private vehicles means that a family bigger than three cannot drive out to dine in at restaurants, even though eateries are permitted to seat a maximum of four per table. The NSC also did not revise rules on a limit of two people per household to leave their home to buy necessities.
Bintulu MP Tiong King Sing complained in the Dewan Rakyat Wednesday about the government’s confusing Covid-19 SOPs, such as the number of people allowed in a car, noting that the police have issued RM1,000 fines against passengers who sit in front with the driver in a vehicle.
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh yesterday urged the NSC to review the two-person limit for private vehicles, saying that single parents are unable to leave their children alone at home.
The government’s initial two-person limit for private vehicles also made it difficult for patients to go to hospital, especially invalids, as a patient is usually accompanied by a caregiver and another person, with the latter dropping off the patient and caregiver at the hospital while looking for parking. Carparks are usually located far away from the entrances of public hospitals.
1,304 New Covid-19 Cases Nationwide
Separately, the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 1,304 new Covid-19 cases across the country today, pushing active infections up to 11,822. One new death was reported, located in Sabah involving a 70-year-old man in Tuaran with a history of high blood pressure.
Sabah recorded 556 cases (42.6 per cent) of overall infections reported today, while the Klang Valley reported 567 cases, a jump of 2.5 times from 224 cases reported yesterday.
Selangor reported 361 new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases today, while Kuala Lumpur recorded 201 local infections. Putrajaya reported one new local transmission. Coronavirus infections have been steadily rising in the Klang Valley, despite one-month-long movement restrictions since the CMCO was imposed on the country’s economic centre from October 14.
According to CodeBlue’s calculations, the average daily Covid-19 cases in the Klang Valley region of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya, including imported infections, have been consistently rising every week for the past five weeks:
- Week 1 (Oct 3-9): 38 average daily cases
- Week 2 (Oct 10-16): 83 average daily cases
- Week 3 (Oct 17-23): 129 average daily cases
- Week 4 (Oct 24-30): 137 average daily cases
- Week 5 (Oct 31-Nov 6): 177 average daily cases
- Week 6 (Nov 7-13): 265 average daily cases
The constant increase of Covid-19 cases in the Klang Valley, in the absence of a significant expansion of testing, may indicate that the virus has already been circulating widely in the community for some time.
Four new clusters were reported today:
- Bonggaya cluster: Sandakan, Sabah, with the index case found in a community screening. A total of 46 cases have tested positive for Covid-19 in this cluster, including 33 new cases.
- Jambatan B cluster: Sandakan, Sabah, with the index case discovered in a symptomatic screening. A total of 53 people have tested positive for coronavirus, including 18 new cases.
- Abell cluster: Kuching, Sarawak, with the index case discovered in a self-voluntary screening. A total of 14 Covid-19 cases have been uncovered, including 10 new infections.
- BMU cluster: Jasin, Melaka. The index case was found in a symptomatic screening, with 10 positive cases so far, all newly reported.