by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by BERNAMA
THE government is awaiting the Health Ministry (MoH) and other related ministries’ evaluation of Klang Valley’s Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which is said to be too relaxed.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said there are many factors that need to be considered for the restrictions to be tightened, especially in terms of the economy.
He added that the decision will be made as soon as possible after getting the views of the relevant ministries.
“Many are saying that the CMCO in the Klang Valley seems to be lax with public parks, gyms and other social activities allowed although Covid-19 cases continue to spike in the country.
“However, if an Enhanced MCO (EMCO) was to be implemented, it would further suppress the movement of people and this would affect the economic sectors as a whole,” he said in a press conference yesterday.
The senior minister said the CMCO was intended to reduce people’s movements while enabling the economic sectors to run as usual.
“Closing all economic sectors will affect the business community. It does not protect traders as there are many who depend on daily wages.
“If the economic sectors are closed, they will not be able to generate income,” he said.
However, he noted that the MoH will make an assessment soon as the government continues to receive a lot of feedback from the public on the CMCO.
“We need to look at the views of all parties because health, economy and life are equally important before we can decide on anything,” he said.
On that note, Ismail Sabri said there is no need to implement the EMCO all over Sabah for the time being because there are currently six localities in Sabah under EMCO and are currently being well monitored by the authorities.
“For Sabah, one district can be as big as a state. If we lock down the whole district, it will affect many villages that do not even have a case.
“This is why we feel that a targeted lockdown in Sabah will be more efficient,” the minister added.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri announced that the Kepayan Prison and its staff quarters in Kota Kinabalu will be placed under EMCO beginning today until Nov 2.
It will involve 3,511 people, including 2,914 prisoners and 597 staff at the Kampung Matambai prison quarters.
Ismail Sabri said the EMCO is to contain the spread of the virus, and to make it easier for the authorities to conduct Covid-19 screenings.
He also said new standard operating procedures will be implemented in prisons, where new inmates will be quarantined for 14 days at transit centres before being placed in jails.
This move is aimed at controlling the coronavirus infections, which are currently spreading rapidly in some prisons.
“New inmates will undergo their first swab test. Before their results come out, they will be quarantined for 14 days.
“Upon testing negative, they will be put in jail with other inmates,” he said.
On another note, Ismail Sabri stressed that Malaysians in Singapore have never been barred from returning to Malaysia and they can come back any time.
“We have received complaints that there were people who were not allowed to return from Singapore,” he said.
He stressed that the application for entry permit from Singapore can be made through MyTravelPass, which is accessible on the Immigration Department’s official website www.imi.gov.my.