Six main criteria to be considered before lifting the MCO


THE Ministry of Health (MoH) is looking at six main criteria to be considered before the Movement Control Order (MCO) can be lifted in the country.

Health DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said there are currently discussions for a framework on exiting the MCO.

“But prior to exiting the MCO, there are six criteria that we must look into because they are important in managing our current fight against Covid-19.

“First is border control, whereby there are high chances of (overseas) arrivals bringing in Covid-19 if we don’t look at it carefully,” he said.

He added that another criterion is to look into movement control that is focused on individual infection and health system, which is required to study and detect the virus on the likelihood that it may re-occur.

“The fourth criterion is to protect our vulnerable individuals including elderly citizens, those with disabilities and especially those who are undergoing chemotherapy.

“Not to mention, there are (new) norms that nationals will have to adopt, such as distancing and how to reduce and control congregations or assemblies,” he said.

Finally, he said, the last thing to look into in creating the framework are ways to prevent further health issues in a very community-focused manner in order to foster stronger health norms.

Dr Noor Hisham said the MoH is targeting lower and single-digit number of Covid-19 positive cases within one week, given that the MCO is already a success.

Dr Noor Hisham said currently, the downtrend is encouraging, upon having reached the double-digit range of new positive cases per day.

“If we can reduce it down to below 10 cases, that would be considered our target.

“It is not impossible for us to reduce the number of cases, but this means we have to further increase our cooperative actions, such as having citizens to stay at home, while the ministries collaborate to focus on high-risk locations and active case detection, as well as isolation,” he said at the media briefing on Covid-19.

As of yesterday, 57 new positive cases were recorded, maintaining a momentum of double-digits in the country, comprising of 18 import cases of Malaysians arriving from foreign countries and 39 local infections.

This means that the currently active cases stand at 2,041 (at press time), whereby 43 are currently undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit and 27 of them are receiving respiratory aid.

In the period of two weeks beginning April 3, as many as 12,160 Malaysians have returned from foreign countries and were immediately placed under quarantined, and of 7,910 that were sampled, 77 were confirmed to be positive.

Subsequently, the Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre also reported that there were three more deaths from Covid-19, leading to a total of 92 casualties (at press time) in the country.

The deaths were of a Malaysian woman aged 72 and two men aged 69 and 92, all of whom had suffered from diabetes and hypertension.

Meanwhile, 54 cases have recovered and discharged from their respective health institutions, totalling up to 3,349 recovered cases (at press time), which also represent 61.1% of the 5,482 cumulative cases in the country.