JOHOR BARU: The government is studying the possibility of relaxing the standard operating procedure under the present lockdown should daily Covid-19-positive cases drop below 4,000.
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the matter was, however, subject to advice from the Health Ministry.
The government, he said, would be holding a special meeting to discuss the plan to emerge from the full implementation of the movement control order.
“This does not mean the ending of MCO but perhaps reviewing the rules which can be relaxed a bit and so on. This is because the impact will only be visible after 14 days as that is the incubation period for this virus.
“We pray that after 14 days, if the cases go down, we can review the SOP which we think may be a little strict. But I cannot promise because this depends on the advice from the Health Ministry,” he said after visiting the army field hospital at Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA) here yesterday.
Malaysia is currently in nationwide lockdown after MCO 3.0 was initially imposed on May 12.
On the special meeting, Ismail Sabri said the government was discussing to find a way out of the implementation of the various MCOs due to the pandemic.
“The plan to come out from the MCO as a whole does exist but what is clear is that the vaccination programme needs to be done to achieve herd immunity as targeted by the government. If we can achieve the target, I believe we can slowly open,” he said.
Ismail Sabri, who is also the Defence Minister, said there were presently six field hospitals, including that at HSA, set up by the Armed Forces to help the frontliners.
The other field hospitals are at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang, Kapit in Sarawak, Pokok Sena in Kedah, Kepala Batas in Penang and Tawau in Sabah.
“We will continue to discuss with the Health Ministry whether there is a need to set up more field hospitals. After receiving an additional allocation of RM1bil from the government, we can open up six more field hospitals if needed,” he said.
The Armed Forces, he said, was also ready to make contract appointments and provide 30 doctors with 100 paramedics along with medical equipment.
The field hospital at HSA, which will start operating this Thursday, can handle Category Three and Four Covid-19 patients. It will have 60 beds and four intensive care unit beds.
“With the increase, I believe we can help reduce the burden and need of beds at HSA. Constructed within the hospital area, it will also facilitate the movement and assistance of doctors and nurses on duty,” he said.