KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will be announcing Covid-19 public health measures next Monday, Dr Adham Baba said today, as the epidemic surges with 1,900 daily cases on average.
“The Prime Minister will announce on the evening of January 11, 2021, the latest measures to curb Covid-19,” the health minister told CodeBlue.
CodeBlue asked Dr Adham to confirm if the Cabinet has agreed to implement a two-week-long Movement Control Order (MCO) in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur and five states — Selangor, Penang, Sabah, Johor, and Melaka — with the possibility of further extensions if needed. He was also asked if a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) would be imposed on the rest of the country.
CodeBlue also asked if the Ministry of Health (MOH) had proposed a one-month-long MCO to Kuala Lumpur and those five states.
The health minister did not specifically address those questions, but simply told CodeBlue to wait for Muhyiddin’s announcement on Monday.
Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, however, told the press earlier today that the government was considering stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs), especially in the social sectors, and that the prime minister would make an announcement on it on Monday.
Back in March last year, Muhyiddin had announced the first MCO two days prior to its enforcement on March 18. Hence, if the prime minister were to make an announcement on Monday about an MCO, it is possible that the lockdown may be imposed from Wednesday.
Movement restrictions implemented during the first MCO included no dining out, a 10km travel restriction (except for health care), only one person per household can leave the house to get essential items, and closure of gyms and entertainment centres etc. The first MCO lasted seven weeks and was imposed when health authorities reported more than 100 Covid-19 cases a day on average.
Yesterday, Malaysia reported a record high daily tally of 3,027 Covid-19 cases. Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah told a press conference on January 6 that the health system is under pressure and at breaking point because Covid-19 cases are increasing every day.
Malaysia, which is currently reporting a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, may soon surpass Myanmar that has a cumulative number of 128,178 cases, which is only 2,740 infections ahead of Malaysia’s total 125,438 cases.
Health experts, in an open letter to the prime minister, had urged the government to increase the number of testings and to come up with clear guidelines so that asymptomatic and mild Covid-19 cases can be isolated at home to protect health care capacity for sick patients