SOPs drawn up for services industry, but economic opening to be gradual, says Health DG

PETALING JAYA: Standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been drawn up for the services industry to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but the economy will only open up in stages, says the Health Ministry.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that there were conditions for companies to adhere to as they slowly re-opened.

“We have the SOPs in place for all services (industry) in the economy, but the thing is we are opening up in phases.

“Priority will be given to the construction industry and the big industries, then we will open up the services industry, slowly but surely, ” he said at his daily press briefing on Tuesday (April 28).

He added that before the World Health Organisation declared the Covid-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, the ministry considered three factors: death rate, infection rate, and the economy.

He said Malaysia had expected to see a peak in mid-April and had to be cautious to prevent an exponential surge in the number of cases.

“But now that we see we are in the recovery phase, we encourage the economic sectors to be restarted and to function again.

“But there are conditions, and they must adhere to the SOPs by the Health Ministry, such as temperature screenings, ensuring adequate space (at work) and not cramped spaces, and that there must be no gatherings.

“Social distancing must be practised, and they must ensure that the workers always use soap and water or sanitisers.

“This is the new normal, not just during the movement control order (MCO) but even after this, they must practise this, ” he said.

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