Noor Hisham: CMCO not a failure – no community infections yet

PETALING JAYA: Emphasising that the conditional movement control order (MCO) is not a failure, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says this is because most Covid-19 cases in the Klang Valley have not spread into the community yet.

“If we look at the Klang Valley, the outbreak is not in the community yet, it is spreading among construction site workers.

“The majority of clusters at construction sites involve foreign workers,” the Health director-general said during his daily press briefing yesterday.

He said there were two active cluster outbreaks in the Klang Valley that were linked to construction sites – the Damanlela cluster in Pusat Bandar Damansara and Merpati cluster in Sepang.

Dr Noor Hisham said as of Sunday, there were 747 positive cases linked to the Damanlela cluster, all involving foreign workers except for 13 patients.

The country saw 1,103 new Covid-19 infections yesterday, with Kuala Lumpur recording the highest number of new cases at 392.

Of the new cases in Kuala Lumpur, 385 were from the Damanlela cluster.

Dr Noor Hisham said the conditional MCO was implemented in Sabah and the positive effects could be seen in the state.

“We managed to reduce the infections in Sabah and have not seen an exponential surge in cases.

“We did see some on Oct 24, 26 and Nov 6, but this spike was due to the outbreak and mass screening carried out in prisons,” he said.

Sabah recorded 288 cases yesterday, seeing a steady downtrend from the 556 cases on Friday.

The DG said the cost to the economy would be too high if a blanket MCO were to be implemented.

“I do not see the conditional MCO as a failure, I see it as an option to strike the right balance between life and livelihood.

“If you ask me, we should go all out for our health and life and implement the MCO, but it’s going to be costly,” he said.

Selangor recorded 151 cases yesterday. Other states that recorded new Covid-19 infections are Negri Sembilan (90), Perak (116), Penang (26), Kedah (10), Labuan (eight), Johor (eight), Kelantan (seven), Terengganu (four), and one each in Sarawak, Melaka and Putrajaya.

No new cases were reported in Pahang or Perlis. Combined, the Klang Valley recorded 554 cases (49.3% of the total).

The country also reported four new Covid-19 fatalities, all from Sabah, bringing the country’s death toll to 313.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the government had agreed to promote contract medical officers - including contract dental officers - from Grade UD41 to Grade UD43.

“This is because contract medical and dental officers share the same workload as those with permanent posts who were promoted to Grade UD44 after fulfilling the conditions for a promotion and after serving at least two years.

“This streamlining of grade is also in line with the service scheme that allows medical officers to be appointed on a contract basis on UD43, which is equivalent to the UD44 grade,” he said.

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