Sarawak to be only state not under MCO

PUTRAJAYA: Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Perlis, which earlier enjoyed certain flexibility in standard operating procedure will be placed under the movement control order beginning midnight on Friday.

This will put the whole country under stricter movement control with the exception of Sarawak.

Announcing this, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision was made following reports by the Health Ministry that these states are experiencing a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases reported and that infection is happening within the community.

“Following advice and risk assessment made by the ministry, the National Security Council special meeting has agreed to enforce MCO on Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Perlis starting from Jan 22 to Feb 4, ” he said in his media briefing.

Sarawak, said the Senior Minister, would be the only state not under MCO and remains under conditional MCO for now.

When the government announced the enforcement of MCO last week, the states of Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan were placed under conditional MCO while Perlis was under recovery MCO.

Kelantan was placed under the 14-day MCO from Jan 16.

Ismail Sabri said health authorities had reported an increase in the number of cases involving several clusters in the community in Kedah, where as of Jan 18, the cumulative number of positive cases stood at 4,411 in the state.

Health officials also reported that five of Kedah’s 12 districts namely Kuala Muda, Kota Setar, Kulim, Baling and Kubang Pasu recorded more than 40 positive cases.

In Perak, the cumulative cases for Covid-19 stood at 4,481 and eight of the state’s 12 districts – Kinta, Larut Matang, Selama, Kerian, Hilir Perak, Manjung, Kuala Kangsar, Mualim and Batang Padang are red zones.

Ismail Sabri said over the past 14 days, more than 140 positive cases were reported in Negri Sembilan with high infectivity rate within the community, adding health authorities reported that the number of cases could potentially go up in Pahang following screenings carried out on close contacts.

Terengganu recorded 403 positive cases in the past 14 days, while in Perlis, the Health Ministry confirmed that infectivity in the community was high and that Kangar is now a red zone after recording 51 cases in the past 14 days.

On another matter, Ismail Sabri said health authorities had been asked to give its input on calls that restaurants and food outlets be allowed to extend operating hours.

“We hear the people but there is an implication to this. If we allow food outlets to extend operating hours, other businesses will also be putting in the same request, ” he said.

The current operating hours, which is until 8pm, is making it hard for some to get their meals.

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