Govt yet to decide on MCO extension, says Dr Noor Hisham

PETALING JAYA: The government has yet to decide on whether to extend the movement control order (MCO) when the third phase ends next Tuesday (April 28).

According to Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the government was still monitoring data on a daily basis to ascertain whether there was a need to extend the MCO, which came into force on March 18.

“We still haven’t made any decision, ” he told reporters during his daily press conference at the Health Ministry on Tuesday (April 21).

However, Dr Hisham said there were six criteria that needed to be considered. Among them was ensuring there was border control via screening and placing Malaysians returning from abroad under quarantine.

The second was to see how effective the MCO had been, he said.

"By staying at home, the chances of being infected is low," he explained.

"Third is our health system. We should reduce the time taken for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screenings.

“Fourth, we also need to enforce laws to protect those who are at high-risk such as the disabled, chemotherapy patients and those with serious diseases.“

The fifth criterion, said Dr Noor Hisham, is the need for Malaysians to incorporate the new normal in their daily lives — social distancing, washing your hands and avoiding public gatherings.

“Sixth, the health ministry must be able to work together with the community to enforce preventative measures in the community concerned, ” he said.

“This is the framework that we have and it needs to be practised by every ministry to see how we can have a soft landing exit strategy, ” he added.

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