Bazaars, schools to close, no dine-in under targeted MCO, say sources

PETALING JAYA: The movement control order will be reviewed, especially in states where there has been a surge in the number of Covid-19 infections, says Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

This re-evaluation is necessary to curb the increasing spread of the virus which is happening not only in Malaysia, but also globally, he said.

He said that premises which had been visited by a big number of those found positive for Covid-19 would be asked to close.

In a statement yesterday, he said the government had used an early warning system known as Hotspots Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) to identify areas and premises which were at high risk of transmitting the disease.

“This approach is in line with the government’s decision to have a targeted approach in controlling and curbing Covid-19.

“Through this system, monitoring is done every day to identify high-risk public locations, ” said Muhyiddin.

Sources told The Star that a two-week targeted MCO will be enforced in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor and Sarawak from tomorrow. According to them, the new MCO will be similar to MCO 2.0, which took place between Jan 11 and 26 in parts of the country, in which economic activities were allowed but schools were closed and social and religious activities barred.

It is learnt that no dine-in will be allowed at eateries.

One source said an announcement on the new (targeted) MCO will likely be made tomorrow.

He said the government had to tread carefully in implementing the MCO as it would impact Hari Raya celebrations as well as the possibility of affecting the many Ramadan bazaars which were allowed to operate during the fasting month.

It is learnt that Ramadan bazaars in areas under the targeted MCO will have to close. In Penang, those located in the southwest district will not be affected.

“The MCO in five districts in Kedah yesterday is part of the proposal which was presented to the National Security Council on Friday. But we decided to impose it on Kedah earlier as the situation is alarming, ” he said.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba signed a gazette yesterday declaring MCO in five districts in Kedah, namely Kota Setar, Kuala Muda, Bandar Baru, Baling and Kulim.

“The government has agreed to implement MCO in these five districts in Kedah beginning today (yesterday) until May 14, ” he said.

“This is a decision made for the safety of the people, ” he said when contacted.

In explaining the MCO, one source said: “Economic activities will continue as people have to go to work, but those who can work from home will be encouraged to do so.”

Schools in MCO states will also likely be closed this time due to many “education clusters”, the source said.

“Furthermore, there are only five more school days before schools close for the Raya break, and another two weeks of online learning, as announced by the Education Ministry.”

As for social and religious functions, he said such events would either be put on hold or permitted with a minimal number of people in attendance.

“We will most likely be having a Raya celebration similar to the one last year where only immediate family members in the same household were allowed. And no open houses.

“Interstate travel for balik kampung is not allowed, ” he said, adding that the number of people in a vehicle could also be restricted.

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