Covid-19: Circuit-breaker proposal to break chain of infections needs thorough scrutiny, says deputy minister

KUALA LUMPUR: The proposal to introduce a circuit-breaker or a total lockdown to break the chain of Covid-19 infections at certain localities will need to be fully scrutinised, says Datin Mastura Mohd Yazid.

The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said the main priority of the government is the National Recovery Plan (NRP), which is being implemented in phases.

"The government will only impose a total lockdown based on the locality that has a high local infection rate.

"On the move to curb the spread of Covid-19 via circuit-breaker, it needs to be scrutinised further as well as to consider its impact on mental health and the socioeconomic impact on the rakyat," she said in reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (BN-Lenggong) during Question Time.

Shamsul had asked the government whether it will consider the proposal to impose a circuit-breaker as a means to curb the spread of Covid-19.

To the initial question, Mastura said any implementation of the various forms of movement control orders will depend on the situation, taking into account the risk assessment of Covid-19 infection by the Health Ministry.

It involves various factors including increase of cases, positive-case distribution, and population density at certain localities.

"As stated by the Prime Minister previously, the measure of 'locking up' the people is no longer seen as appropriate and it may bring more implications, including on mental health and the economy.

"The implementation of all forms of movement control orders including a ‘total lockdown’ has a very negative impact on the national economy," she added.

She said the government will continue to increase vaccination rates and is simplifying the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) to just 10 as the country transitioned towards the endemic phase.

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