PETALING JAYA: The two-week lockdown from June 1-14 is necessary to ensure that the country’s medical facilities will not end up paralysed if Covid-19 cases continue to rise, says Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The ban on all non-essential social and economic activities was necessary following the sharp increase in daily Covid-19 infections recently, whereby new cases breached the 9,000 mark on Saturday, he said.
He also said that saving people’s lives were crucial considering that there were now over 70,000 active Covid-19 cases and the emergence of more dangerous new variants of the virus.
In his announcement on the latest lockdown measures, he said all non-essential social and economic activities were prohibited in the upcoming nationwide two-week lockdown starting tomorrow, with only 17 essential sectors allowed to operate, including food and beverages, healthcare facilities as well as transportation.
Similar to the first MCO imposed in March last year, the latest version of the MCO will also prohibit shopping malls, supermarkets, hypermarkets and wet markets from opening stores and sections that are not selling essential items like food and medicine.
Letters allowing interstate and inter-district travel from the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) will expire today, and permission letters for inter-district travel will instead be issued by the relevant ministries.
Ismail Sabri said all factories had been ordered to shut down except for 12 sectors, which include aerospace, food and beverages, packaging and printing materials as well as personal care products and cleaning supplies, with operations allowed only at 60% capacity.
Selected factories under the agriculture, fisheries, plantation, commodities and construction sectors are allowed to operate at maximum capacity along with the supporting services in their respective supply chains.
For all businesses listed as essential services, opening hours would be limited from 8am to 8pm nationwide, he said.
“With the closure of economic sectors, this will reduce the number of workers allowed to move around from 15 million to only 1.5 million, ” he said in a joint press conference with Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah yesterday.
For the civil service, only a capacity of 20% are allowed to be at their workplaces to carry out necessary tasks that cannot be done remotely.
This excludes frontliners, as well as security and defence personnel, while for non-essential tasks, 100% of the public sector workers will work from home.
For employees in private sectors of essential services, which includes operations and management, attendance at the workplace is limited to 60%.
In the new list of SOP, Ismail Sabri also said only up to two people per car would be allowed to travel but the limit could be increased to three people in the case of medical emergencies, seeking healthcare services and medical attention.
For reasons such as deaths, police permission for travel will be needed while for vaccination appointments, it is allowed as long as one can show proof.
“E-hailing services will also be allowed to operate and the two-person per car rule will apply, ” he said adding that airports and seaports would be allowed to operate with land and sea transportation allowed to operate at a 50% capacity.
Bus and vans that transport employees would also be allowed to operate at a 50% capacity, he said.
“Sports and recreational activities are limited to jogging and exercises that do not involve physical contact, and only from 7am to 8pm.
“The activities can be performed in the neighbourhood parks but are subjected to the movement control order that is currently in force, ” he said.
For religious activities, prayers at mosques and surau are limited to a maximum of 12 committee members while akad nikah (Muslim marriage solemnisation) will only be allowed at Islamic religious offices or departments with attendance that are in accordance with the ruling of the state religious authorities.
For activities at other houses of worship, only a maximum of 12 committee members are allowed and the presence of other worshippers will not be permitted.