DG: Comply with SOPs or face action

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia must consider the socioeconomic needs of the people, now that the country has flattened the Covid-19 curve, says Health director-general, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic).

However, he urged the public and companies to comply strictly with the rules set by the government, or risk facing an enhanced movement control order (MCO).

“It is clear that we are in the recovery phase. Hopefully we do what we can to improve the situation further.

“Now we are in the next phase, which is to manage the virus in our community, ” he said in his daily press briefing in Putrajaya yesterday.

He cautioned that every economic sector must adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“We sat down with every sector and we advised them in coming up with the SOP, which is very clear. If they do not comply, then we will close the locality or even the premises.

“Most importantly, if there is an outbreak or a case in that locality or even in those premises, we will take public health action, and part of that is the enhanced MCO, ” he said.

Public gatherings, he added, are still prohibited, and he urged the public to continue with good hygiene practices and social distancing rules.

When asked whether the SOP for economic sectors released were on the advice of the Health Ministry, Dr Noor Hisham said it was a collective decision to ease the MCO.

Separately, he said the Health Ministry will screen everyone at the enhanced MCO areas, including undocumented migrants.

“Our job in the Health Ministry is to ensure they are not infected, whether documented or not.

“Our job is to make sure whether in prison, or at the containment centre, they are free from Covid-19 infection, ” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said this in response to a question on how immigration raids in areas under enhanced movement control order (MCO) would affect the ministry’s plans for mass Covid-19 screening.

However, he added that matters pertaining to undocumented migrants fell under the purview of the Home Ministry.

Separately, Dr Noor Hisham said data is still being collected on how many traders from markets in Kuala Lumpur were infected with Covid-19.

There are currently 86 positive cases from the area surrounding Pasar Borong Kuala Lumpur, with about 19 related cases detected from outside the enhanced MCO area.

There were three additional positive cases reported yesterday.

“Investigations are still ongoing, such as contact tracing of family members and the traders from the markets.

“The data is not complete, it would take maybe another two or three more days to conduct active case detection for those linked to the wholesale market, ” he said.

The area around Pasar Borong Kuala Lumpur have been placed under the enhanced MCO from April 20, with the restriction expected to last until tomorrow.

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