by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by ARIF KARTONO
MEETINGS, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) can be organised in the Movement Control Order (MCO) areas beginning March 5, subject to the conditions that have been set.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the organisation of such programmes must comply with the 25% limit capacity based on premise space, or a maximum of 250 people by adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
“Previously, the government allowed MICE for Conditional MCO and Recovery MCO areas with the presence of 50% capacity guests and size of the place.
“However, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture recently announced that revenue from the MICE 2020 industry has declined up to 90% to RM2.25 billion compared to 2019 which contributed RM9.25 billion to the national economy,” he said in a press conference yesterday.
Ismail Sabri said more than 5,000 workers in the industry have lost their jobs and many industry players are on the verge of facing bankruptcy.
Apart from MICE, street musicians and buskers are also allowed to resume their activities in the MCO areas.
“However, they will have to comply with SOPs, such as wearing face masks and practising physical distancing while performing,” the minister added.
Meanwhile, parents no longer need to obtain permission letters from the police to send their children to school.
Ismail Sabri said they only need to show letters issued by schools if they are stopped at roadblocks.
He said this includes parents who intend to cross district or state borders to send their children to boarding schools or hostels.
“The technical meeting has agreed to provide flexibility to parents who need to send their children to schools or hostels when the schooling session begins on March 1,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health reported 1,924 new Covid-19 positive cases in the country yesterday involving 1,918 local transmissions and six import cases.
Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said since the enactment of the Emergency Ordinance on Jan 11, the country has consistently shown a declining trend of new daily cases.
“Today, for the first time, Malaysia is reporting daily cases of less than 2,000 cases. This is a very positive development and it is hoped that the current situation of Covid-19 will improve,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Selangor reported the highest new daily cases of 666 cases, followed by Johor (257) and Sarawak (219).
The increase in the new cases yesterday brought the country’s overall total to 293,698. Currently, there are 28,837 active Covid-19 cases being treated at health facilities nationwide.
Among the active cases yesterday, 205 were placed in the intensive care unit with 91 of them requiring respiratory aid.
On the side note, some 3,752 patients were discharged, increasing the total recovered cases in the country to 263,761 or 89.8% of overall cases.
The overall Covid-19 death toll now stands at 1,100 with 12 casualties reported yesterday.
The deceased were between the age of 52 and 91, with all of them having critical illnesses.
Read our previous report here