Covid-19: Still early to decide whether to lift conditional MCO, says Health DG

  • Nation
  • Friday, 29 May 2020

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): It is still very early for the Ministry of Health (MOH) to make a decision on whether to lift the conditional movement control order (MCO) after June 9, says Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said it is now important for MOH to monitor the Covid-19 situation involving foreigners since over the last couple of weeks the number of Malaysians infected is not that high.

"From May 4 until now, there are only about 222 Malaysians from 1,800 (Covid-19) cases in the country,” he said in his daily Covid-19 briefing at MOH here Friday (May 29).

Dr Noor Hisham was responding to a question if Malaysia was ready to lift the conditional MCO come June 9.

He said the majority of Covid-19 transmissions presently were mainly among foreign workers.

"Looking into the last couple of days although cases have spiked to 172 cases, 187 cases daily, if you look at Malaysians’ involvement (it) is lower than double digits.”

"Perhaps Malaysians are practising all the SOPs but the question is are the foreign workers practising the SOPs?”

"So we need to educate foreign workers on the SOPs because health involves citizens and non-citizens,” Dr Noor Hisham stressed.

He said if Malaysians comply to the SOPs there will be no spike in cases post-Hari Raya.

"So we will only know next week or the following week,” he said.

Asked on screenings by employers (on foreign workers) Dr Noor Hisham said MOH is currently looking into the matter.

"MOH’s high index of suspicion now is on foreign workers. From May 4 until May 29, MOH has noted that almost 78% of the Covid-19 positive cases in Malaysia involved foreign workers," he said.

Dr Noor Hisham added that MOH is also looking to address the issue of foreign worker accommodation.

"I think we can address the problem not only (for) Covid-19 but (for) tuberculosis and other infectious diseases as well. So this is something we have to work seriously and work together among agencies and ministries as a whole,” he added. - Bernama

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