Govt never instructed hotels to shut during MCO

Hotels in the areas under MCO can still open their business, as long as they adhere to the SOPs set by the govt

by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by BERNAMA

THE government has never instructed hotel operators to close down their business operations during the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO), Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

He noted that hotels in the areas under MCO can still open their business, as long as they adhere to the strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the government.

“The government has never ordered the hotels to be closed, either in the areas under MCO, Conditional MCO (CMCO) or Recovery MCO (RMCO).

“However, if there are hotels that are totally closed down due to a lack of customers, that has nothing to do with us. It is up to the operator,” he said in a press conference yesterday.

The minister explained that tourism activities in CMCO and RMCO states are now allowed to operate, while only those in the MCO areas cannot operate but they are still allowed to open as they have restaurants that serve food.

“So, there is no reason for hotels to close,” he added.

On Feb 18, Ismail Sabri announced that the tourism and cultural sectors can reopen in the states under CMCO and RMCO.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said yesterday that the interstate and interdistrict travel bans implemented across the country have effectively reduced the spread of Covid-19.

He added that the restrictions has a positive effect as the current situation shows that the daily number of cases are decreasing compared to the end of last year and early this year.

“Last month, we recorded the highest daily cases at 5,725 and lately, the number of positive Covid-19 cases has dropped to around 2,000.

“Although, we are still recording four-digit cases, the Ministry of Health (MoH) data shows that one of the reasons for the decrease in daily cases is the measures taken by the government to control the movement of people across districts and states,” he noted.

The minister said the move was made following the increase in cases when most people, especially those living in the red zone, returned to their hometowns at the end of last year and earlier this year.

On the confusion regarding the district border, Ismail Sabri said there was confusion whether travel within the administrative or police border is allowed.

“I have personally informed the police that for MCO, only administrative, not police border will apply.” The minister said those who have been compounded due to the mix-up can appeal to the District Health Office according to the district of the compound issued.

The government has ended the Enhanced MCO imposed in two localities of Perak and Pahang, namely Felda Triang 3, in Bera and Kampung Teluk in Setiawan. A total of 15,399 foreign workers underwent screening tests yesterday, and of that number, 97 were found positive of Covid-19.

Separately, the MoH reported 2,468 new Covid-19 positive cases in the country yesterday, of which 2,464 were local transmissions and four were import cases.

Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Selangor detected the highest number of infections with 932, followed by Johor (428) and Perak (308).

Other states which recorded an increase were Kuala Lumpur (KL) with 155 cases, Penang (155), Sarawak (133), Negri Sembilan (100), Kelantan (96), Sabah (94), Melaka (22), Kedah (15), Pahang (11), Terengganu (nine), Labuan (six) and Putrajaya (four).

No new cases were recorded in Perlis.

Additionally, Dr Noor Hisham said 13 new Covid-19 clusters were identified in the country yesterday, of which 11 of them were workplace clusters, while the remaining two were community clusters.

Four of the clusters were detected in Johor, three in Selangor, two in KL and one each in Kedah, Negri Sembilan, Sabah and Sarawak.

The increase in new cases yesterday has brought the country’s overall total to 288,229.

There are now 30,475 active Covid-19 cases that are being treated at health facilities nationwide.

Among the active cases yesterday, 196 were placed in the intensive care unit, with 92 of them requiring respiratory aid.

Meanwhile, 4,055 patients have been discharged, increasing the total recovered cases in the country to 256,678, which equals 89%.

Fourteen new deaths were reported yesterday, of which the deceased were between the age of 30and77.

This has increased the country’s overall Covid-19 death toll to 1,076.


Read our previous report here

Covid-19: 2,468 new cases, 14 deaths