MCO 3.0 to be tightened

PETALING JAYA: The special meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) has unanimously decided to tighten the current movement control order with more restrictions on social and economic sectors.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic) agreed that more efforts needed to be taken to flatten the Covid-19 infection curve.

Details of the restrictions will be announced by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today.

The NSC special meeting yesterday was also attended by state government heads to get accounts of the situation on the ground in their states and to hear their views.

“The NSC special meeting weighed the discussions and analyses in the meeting and unanimously agreed to tighten the implementation of MCO 3.0 which is currently in place, with added restrictions on social and economic sectors.

“The meeting analysed findings from the Health Ministry on the latest situation, including the infectivity rate, and proposed actions to control transmission.

“The meeting also discussed the current status of MCO 3.0 that began on May 12.

“The standard operating procedure for MCO 3.0 had been tightened, including restrictions on interstate and inter-district travel; social, sports and recreational activities; and physical meetings and conferences.

“However, transmissions within the community have increased and with new aggressive Covid-19 variants, efforts to flatten the infection rate are taking a long time, ” the PMO said in a statement issued after the special meeting.

The statement comes after much speculation on whether the government will impose a full-scale lockdown like the first MCO in March last year.

In recent days, the number of Covid-19 cases has surged to more than 6,000 daily, prompting calls from various parties for greater restrictions, while others argued that a total lockdown would do irreparable harm to the economy and livelihoods.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said that Malaysia and China are exploring new areas of common interest to strengthen bilateral collaboration, apart from existing cooperation in economy, trade and investment.

According to Bernama, Muhyiddin, who held a videoconference with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang yesterday morning, said the cooperation included aspects of Covid-19 vaccine production through the “fill and finish” method in Malaysia and collaborations in the fields of e-commerce, high technology and digital economy.

Other areas of cooperation were in agriculture and agrofood, the development of food security and poverty eradication programmes, he added.

“The Chinese government has given a very positive response to these proposed collaborations to be discussed in greater detail at the relevant ministerial level.

“Both of us agreed that Malaysia-China bilateral ties have remained close and continued to expand positively in the face of bitter challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, ” he posted on Facebook.

On Covid-19, Muhyiddin said they saw the need for more proactive cooperation between the two countries to overcome the pandemic and drive the recovery process.

The prime minister also expressed his appreciation to China for being the first country to extend aid to Malaysia in the early stages of the pandemic, saying that was proof of the strong bilateral ties between the two nations.

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