Stricter rules to be enforced during second phase of MCO


PUTRAJAYA: As part of a tightening of measures under the movement control order (MCO), beginning tomorrow, there will be shorter operating hours for businesses that are allowed to open. And the government has warned that there will be more of such stricter rules.

This comes as the authorities move in to disinfect the entire country.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said 828 people were arrested on Sunday at roadblocks and during police patrols.

“The number of people arrested for breaking the MCO is increasing, and this is because the police are now taking more serious action, ” Ismail Sabri said at a press conference yesterday.

So far, the police and the army have set up 1,520 roadblocks and performed checks on 257,287 vehicles throughout the MCO, which began on March 18.

Ismail Sabri said roadblocks at toll plazas had been increased from 23 to 65, with plans to raise them to 114 nationwide.

“A total of 67,774 police, army, Rela and Malaysian Civil Defence Force officers have been deployed so far.

“We have more officers in reserve, and we will increase the number from time to time if deemed necessary, ” he said.

He also said that the second phase of the MCO, which is from tomorrow until April 14, would see additional restrictions, including shorter hours for businesses and services.

For delivery services, Ismail said the government encouraged contactless delivery, where items were left outside the customer’s house and collected without any contact with the deliverer.

Ismail Sabri said the NSC had also decided to impose a ceiling price of RM1.50 for a three-ply surgical mask, a reduction from the previous RM2 limit.

“The issue in Malaysia is that not enough masks are produced domestically, thus leading to a reliance on imports.

“We will review the price from time to time, and if the costs can be lowered, we will reduce the ceiling price accordingly, ” he said.

Meanwhile, major public cleaning and sanitisation exercises have started in six areas identified as Covid-19 red zones.

The operation, which will be carried out in stages, began in six areas – Lembah Pantai, Petaling, Hulu Langat, Seremban, Johor Baru and Kluang, said the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

The sanitisation exercises will eventually cover more than 47 red and orange zone areas nationwide.

Its minister Zuraida Kamaruddin took part in the first sanitation exercise at a public area conducted by the ministry at Masjid Al-Falah Kampung Sungai Ramal Dalam, Kajang and Pasar Awam Jalan Othman in Petaling Jaya.

It is understood that a total of 153 personnel from 10 government agencies took part in the exercise. Among the agencies were the Fire and Rescue Department, police, Health Ministry and Ampang Jaya Municipal Council.

“It involves sanitation of road equipment, public transport, public markets, sidewalks, transportation hubs and others.

“The operation will also be conducted at low-cost people’s housing project (PPR) areas within the red zones, ” she said in a statement.

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