Govt should not practise double standards in implementing Covid-19 SOPs, says MCA

KUALA LUMPUR: The government should not practise double standards when it comes to implementing Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs), says MCA spokesperson Mike Chong.

Referring to the home quarantine afforded to Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Edmund Santhara Kumar who returned from New Zealand recently, Chong said it regretted the excuse given by the Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in this instance.

"The explanation is not acceptable," Chong said in a press conference Monday (March 29).

"The SOP must be the same for every Malaysian regardless of their background or position.

'It doesn't matter who returns home, they must comply with the government’s SOP. There should be no exceptions, whether they are ministers or deputy ministers," he added.

"The government came up with the SOPs, so they must ensure that the implementation is fair to everyone.

"Practising double standards will only affect the authority of the government in fighting the pandemic," he said.

Dr Noor Hisham had told Malaysiakini that Edmund was allowed home quarantine as he had returned from a low-risk country and had a home suitable for quarantine.

He had returned home after a 55-day trip to New Zealand to see his family amid Covid-19 travel restrictions for Malaysians.

Under the Covid-19 SOPs, Malaysians returning from overseas must undergo a 10-day mandatory quarantine at a designated centre upon arrival.

Chong also said the party, through the Crisis Relief Squad of MCA (CRSM), had so far helped more than 32,000 people around the country register for Covid-19 vaccinations through 397 registration drives.

The party has also recruited 135 volunteers for the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination programme.

As of Sunday (March 28), a total of 7.1mil people or about 30% of those above the age of 18 have registered to be vaccinated.

The government has set an 80% target of the population to be vaccinated.

There are three phases to the immunisation programme, with frontliners being vaccinated in the first phase from February to April.

The second phase runs from April to August this year, with high-risk groups and senior citizens aged 60 and above being vaccinated.

The rest of the Malaysian population aged 18 years and above will be vaccinated in the third phase, which is from May 2021 to February 2022.

The national Covid-19 immunisation programme is expected to be completed before the end of this year, ahead of its projected completion date in February next year.

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