No nationwide lockdown for now despite spike in Covid-19 cases, says Ismail Sabri

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will not impose the movement control order (MCO) lockdown nationwide for now despite a recent spike in Covid-19 cases, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Senior Minister (Security) said the stark increase in cases were contributed by certain states, not the whole country.

"On Friday, 287 cases were reported but states with a huge number of cases were Sabah, Kedah and Selangor while other states have between one to three cases.

"That being said, there were 129 cases reported in Kedah but 128 of them were from a prison while in Sabah, some of the cases involved undocumented migrants.

"The situation is not dire and we will not resort to implementing the MCO again nationwide," he said during a press conference on Saturday (Oct 3).

Instead, Ismail Sabri said the government would focus on areas classified as red zones instead of a whole state or district.

Asked whether a ban on interstate travel would be introduced, Ismail Sabri said it will not be done.

"There is no need to prevent interstate travel," he added.

Asked on the decision not to impose mandatory quarantine for those who returned from Sabah and tested negative, compared to those returning from overseas, Ismail Sabri said travelling from Sabah is still considered interstate travel.

"As for those coming back from overseas, we don't know their history of travel and whether the place they are coming from is considered red zones or otherwise.

"Furthermore, we cannot conduct tracing for those returning from overseas as we won't have any way of knowing whom they met thus it is vital for them to go through the mandatory 14-day quarantine," he added.

Ismail Sabri for those returning from Sabah, all are required to undergo swab test upon arrival.

"They are then required to wear the bracelet. However, if their result is negative, the Health Ministry decided that they can take off their bracelets at government health clinics and be issued a release letter.

"However, the ministry also encouraged them to be in self-quarantine as an added precaution," he said.

Ismail Sabri also rubbished talks that politicians returning from Sabah were the main contributors to the spike in Covid-19 cases.

"More than 13,000 people went through tests upon arrival from Sabah and only 1% of them tested positive.

"That 1% is a mix of politicians, tourists as well as those who have official and business matters in Sabah," he said.

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