Recovery MCO extended till New Year’s Eve

PETALING JAYA: Despite Malaysia’s admirable efforts in battling the Covid-19 pandemic, the recovery movement control order (MCO) has been extended to Dec 31.

In announcing this yesterday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the decision to extend the recovery MCO, which was supposed to end on Aug 31, was made as there were still new cases daily in the country.

In a live telecast to the nation, he said the government still needs to enforce the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) to control the pandemic.

“The government has decided to extend the recovery MCO to Dec 31. With this extension, enforcement actions can continue to be taken under Act 342.

“The global spread of Covid-19 has yet to show signs of abating in the near future.

“Our country is still facing challenges in handling this pandemic as the (SARS-CoV-2) virus is still spreading actively all over the world.

“Seeing that cases are happening overseas, this virus is not only active but is also accelerating to a bigger scale, and we cannot afford to take lightly the threat of superspreaders in our country,” he said.

Muhyiddin cited the recent clusters in Sivagangga, Tawar and Sala in Kedah; Sanglang in Perlis; and the cluster in Sarawak as examples of why there needs to be more stringent enforcement to ensure that the pandemic is contained.

“The government will also tighten control at our borders.

“We have forced those who return from overseas (locals and foreigners) to undergo a 14-day quarantine at stations identified by the government.

“The quarantine in certain places will also continue to be enforced,” he said.

Muhyiddin also backed the recent proposal by the Health Ministry to increase the compound rates for those who violate the recovery MCO.

“I also support the Health Ministry proposal to raise the compound rate for offences (against the recovery MCO) by at least twice or thrice the present rate.

“However, this needs to be studied and Act 342 has to be amended,” said Muhyiddin.

On Tuesday, the Health Ministry proposed that the government increase the fine for compoundable offences under the Act from the current RM1,000 to RM10,000.

Muhyiddin also said that as the face mask is now a basic need, the government is in discussion with suppliers on how to further lower the price.

The extension means that nightclubs and entertainment centres will still not be allowed to operate.

“These are places where new norms are difficult to be enforced.

“Foreign tourists will still not be allowed in to avoid any imported cases into the country.

“Sports activities will be allowed, but without foreign participants,” said Muhyiddin.

Malaysia confirmed 10 new Covid-19 cases – eight imported cases and two local transmissions – yesterday.

This brought the total number of cases in the country to 9,306 since the outbreak began.

The country’s death toll remained at 125, or a 1.35% fatality rate, and the last time Malaysia saw a fatality related to Covid-19 was July 31.

The latest cluster in the country is Tawar cluster, which has 73 confirmed cases so far.

Aman Jaya in Kedah was put under an enhanced MCO indefinitely beginning yesterday.
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