Govt mulls imposing WFH policy

Ismail Sabri says Jakim, MoH and NSC have yet to reach a conclusion on SOPs for Aidilfitri


THE government may reverse its decision abolishing the work-from-home (WFH) policy and 30% quota, following a resurgence in Covid-19 infections with positive daily cases registering above the 2,000 level for two consecutive weeks.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the National Security Council (NSC) will conduct a meeting with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, taking into the consideration of resumption of the home-based teaching and learning method.

“The situation has changed now. When the numbers were alleviated, we decided to cancel the WFH policy altogether and revoke the 30% rule.

“However, the positive cases have remained above 2,000 level and sustained around 2,700 daily. I believe the authorities will take this matter into discussion and the decision will be announced soon,” he said during a special Covid-19 briefing yesterday.

Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah updated through his social media platform that another 2,733 Covid-19 infections were recorded nationwide yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham said Selangor remained the state with the highest number of new cases with 750 new infections, followed by Kelantan (484) and Sarawak (432).

Kuala Lumpur reported 377 new cases, followed by Johor at 220 and Penang 115. The new cases added to Malaysia’s cumulative count of Covid-19 cases to 398,451.

Following the new variant of the coronavirus found in India, Ismail Sabri said Malaysia is taking immediate action by temporarily closing its border to travellers from the South Asian country, including international students and business travellers.

“The daily trend of positive cases is still uncertain and it is being aggravated by the discovery of the new variant from India.

“Several other countries have taken a similar step such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and Indonesia.”

On the extension of the movement restrictions, Ismail Sabri said all states will remain at the current level of Movement Control Order (MCO) until May 17.

He said all states will continue to undergo either the Conditional MCO (CMCO) or Recovery MCO (RMCO), while Sabah’s movement restriction has been tightened to CMCO from RMCO.

“The Health Ministry (MoH) has presented the 14-day risk assessment of the implementation of RMCO and CMCO throughout the country at the previous NSC meeting, which both orders were scheduled to end on April 28.

“MoH confirmed that Covid-19 cases in most states are currently showing an unstable trend, while the R-naught value has increased and surpassed 1.0 since 20 days ago.

“Based on the MoH’s monitoring, the number of clusters related to social activities and education also has increased over the past two weeks, including the cases derived from cross-state activities, especially in Kedah, Perak, Kelantan, Melaka, Pahang and Sarawak.”

Ismail Sabri said due to the spike in cases, the MCO, CMCO and RMCO will be extended from April 29 until May 17 for the respective states, while Sarawak will begin on April 27 and end on May 17.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia, together with the MoH and NSC, have not reached a conclusion for the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration next month.