Interstate travel not ‘green light’ to flout SOPs

by AZREEN HANI/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE government’s decision to lift restrictions on interstate travel is not a “green light” for people to flout the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and its standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision to lift the interstate travel ban is to revive the economy, especially among small business owners.

“The ease of restrictions is to help us find a balance between health and the economy.

“We need to be responsible in striking a balance on this while fighting the pandemic,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Ismail Sabri said he expected an increase in traffic this weekend as more people are heading to their hometowns after the lift on inter-state travel ban since Monday.

Ismail Sabri added that people should remain vigilant to avoid creating new clusters from their travels.

Meanwhile, he announced that three localities in Bentong, Pahang, will be placed under the Enhanced MCO (EMCO) following the rise in Covid-19 infections in those areas.

The EMCO begins today until Dec 23 involving 4,351 residents. So far, 55 positive cases have been reported from the areas.

Two EMCOs in Kulim, Kedah and Tuaran, Sabah, respectively will be extended to Dec 24.

In addition, Ismail Sabri said the quarantine centre at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS), Selangor, has been reopened due to rising infections among foreign workers.

The centre will only be opened for foreign workers who are asymptomatic or patients with light symptoms.

Up to 10,000 beds will be provided in stages for this centre, unlike only 604 beds prepared in April.

The quarantine centre in MAEPS earlier operated from April 16 until July 15 with 1,362 patients treated, who were mostly foreigners.

For MAEPS 2.0, 650 foreign workers have been admitted at the centre so far, where 80% of them are asymptomatic.

Separately, Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Health Ministry (MoH) is expecting the number of patients involving foreign workers to increase as a result of screening tests in six states.

As of noon yesterday, 959 new Covid-19 cases were detected, with Selangor recording the highest case at 277. This was followed by Sabah (207), Kuala Lumpur (129), Pahang (119) and Johor (100).

Perlis, Putrajaya, Terengganu and Sarawak had zero new infections.

Meanwhile, 1,068 patients were discharged bringing the total recoveries to 65,124 cases.

However, five new deaths were reported, taking the total death tally to 393.

There are currently 10,748 active cases nationwide.


Read our earlier report

 

Govt reopens MAEPS Covid-19 quarantine centre