MoH: Malaysia can look into easing border control

Ministry will have a reciprocal agreement between neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Brunei before lifting the border control


THE Health Ministry (MoH) said Malaysia can start looking into easing border controls with neighbouring countries, if new Covid-19 cases continue to be under control during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period.

The country recorded the lowest number of new Covid-19 cases yesterday, with just two new infections in nearly three months since the implementation of MCO on March 18.

Of the two cases, one was an imported case involving a Malaysian who was infected abroad and another involving a non-Malaysian who was a close contact of a positive case in Kuching, Sarawak.

This was also the third consecutive day where the number of new cases recorded in single digits.

Health DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry is seeing an overall improvement in terms of preventing new coronavirus cases with the continuous efforts from MoH and the public.

“Currently, the country’s borders are still being controlled as our focus is on controlling local transmissions.

“Now that local transmissions are well under controlled and with all sectors back to normal, the next move for us is to focus on the international border control,” he said in his daily Covid-19 updates yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham added that the ministry will have a reciprocal agreement between neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Brunei before lifting the border control.

“We also will look into the global Covid-19 index and continue monitor the cases from time to time. The standard operating procedure (SOP) of the countries involved will also be taken seriously.

“If we can return back to normal without any surge in new cases, then that is the perfect balance of what we want to achieve,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham also urged the public to continue complying with SOPs and social distancing to prevent the spike in new Covid-19 cases.

The increase in new cases yesterday brought the current active cases to 1,206 and the country’s overall total to 8,338.

Among the active cases, five were placed in the intensive care unit, with no cases requiring respiratory aid.

Similarly, 39 patients recovered, increasing the recovered cases percentage to 84.1%, which equalled to 7,014 as of yesterday.

One casualty was reported yesterday bringing the total number of Covid-19 deaths to 118, or 1.42% of total cases.

The patient was a 61-year-old Malaysian with diabetes and kidney disease. He also had a history of attending the Sri Petaling tabligh gathering.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the Covid-19 swab tests will be conducted as usual although the country is now in the RMCO phase.

He added that the ministry has identified nine targeted groups that need to be screened from time to time.

“The screening is going on as usual and we are focusing on targeted groups such as foreigners and senior citizens. The projection for new cases is declining.

“For non-locals, the ministry has already taken steps to isolate them and implement strict SOP in the immigration departments,” he said.