PM: Recovery MCO extended till Dec 31 (updated)

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced that the recovery movement control order (MCO) to stem the Covid-19 pandemic will be extended to Dec 31.

The decision took into account the recent emergence of new clusters, and the number of daily new cases, he said in a special address to the nation broadcast live via RTM, Bernama TV, TV3 and Astro Awani.

Muhyiddin said that while the nation has handled the crisis well, the ongoing spikes have raised concerns that the pandemic has yet to run its course.

On June 7, the Prime Minister had announced that the recovery MCO would replace the earlier conditional movement control order after Malaysia successfully contained the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

With the current extension of the recovery MCO, Muhyiddin said action can be taken under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, or under Act 342.

"This is to ensure that all parties will follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) and the existing health protocols," he said. Based on global developments, Muhyiddin said it will take a long time before Malaysia would be free from the virus.

"Currently, the situation is under control. But if there is a rise in cases in specific localities, the government will use the targeted approach such as the enhanced MCO or the targeted MCO like what has been implemented in several areas before this," he said.

Muhyiddin added that strict quarantine regulations in certain places will continue to be enforced, as he recognised the risk of transmission from super spreaders.

"No one is exempt from this rule, and any individual who violates it will be punished accordingly.

"In that regard, I support the Health Ministry's proposal to increase compound fines for related offences to at least two or three times the current rate. But this matter needs to be scrutinised and Act 342 needs to be amended first," he said.

He added that the Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Ministry is also negotiating with the factories and distributors to reduce the price of face masks.

"If the negotiations work, the price of face masks will be affordable and it will reduce the people's burden," he said.

Muhyiddin said as all the other economic sectors have reopened except for a certain few like nightclubs and entertainment outlets. He said they will still not be allowed to operate as these places were difficult to supervise under the new norm.

He added that foreign tourists too are still not allowed to enter the country to avoid the transmission of import cases in the country.

"Sports activities will be allowed but it will be without international participants and audience," he said.

With the continuation of the recovery MCO, Muhyiddin said the Covid-19 fund that is being managed by the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) will continue until Dec 31, adding that those who want to contribute to the fund can do so.

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