Govt may consider tightening SOPs, says MITI


THE government may consider tightening the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent outbreaks at ignition sites, and introducing clear guidance on geospatial planning, such as quantifying indoor settings at any given time, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

“Additionally, we could step up targetted testing, as well as regulating the costs of RTK-Antigen test kits to make Covid-19 testing more affordable and on a larger scale, particularly for industries,” it said in a statement yesterday.

The ministry said this in response to the recent calls for the government to reimpose a total lockdown in order to deal with the massive spike in the number of infections in the country.

It said any action taken must be viewed along with other suggestions concerning alternative strategies and options.

MITI said it has also been suggested that SOPs for social events could be tightened, while a full ban on interstate travels should be imposed for the interim. In any event, the call is for businesses to remain open, on the condition of full compliance with stricter SOPs, it said.

The ministry stressed that community engagement and empowerment are important in combatting Covid-19 because the pandemic starts and spreads in communities, and the solutions are within the communities themselves through their behaviour, adaptation and compliance.

“It is important to note that apart from the toll on health and the economy, Covid-19 has a direct impact on the people.

“One loss in income affects the whole household. In practical terms, the loss of income for one breadwinner may well adversely affect the livelihoods of at least four persons in a family,” it said.

Meanwhile, the ministry acknowledged the strong support and collaboration by industry stakeholders and the people towards ensuring economic recovery and sustainability amid the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It added that the public-private-rakyat synergy is an invaluable value proposition for nation-building and should be embraced by all.