The movement control order will be reintroduced in six states while six more will remain under the conditional movement control order from January 13, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced today. The prime minister said the Covid-19 pandemic was starting to overwhelm the country's major public hospitals, 15 of which he said was already nearing their maximum capacity. "Our healthcare is at a breaking point," Muhyiddin said when explaining the drastic decision.
All Federal Territories, Penang, Johor, Melaka, Selangor and Sabah will be under the MCO, while six others with the exception of Perlis and Sarawak, will be placed under the CMCO. Perlis and Sarawak will be placed under the recovery movement control order. "The situation today is indeed very alarming. As I have said before, unprecedented situations call for unprecedented measures. "Therefore, based on the risk assessment by the Ministry of Health, the National Security Council, various ministries and agencies, as well as advice from public health experts in the country, the government agrees with the view that a firm action should be taken to break the chain of transmission of the Covid-19 virus," Muhyiddin said.
He pointed out that the states subject to the MCO were categorised as high-risk, based on a risk assessment by the MOH. He said that the capacity of the government's health services has almost been exhausted. "MOH will carry out continued risk assessment to decide whether the implementation of this MCO should be ended or continued, before the two-week period ends. "To reduce the risk of infection and to end the Covid-19 infection chain, social activities involving mass gatherings such as weddings, conferences, religious parades including Thaipusam, meetings, seminars, courses and group sports are not allowed at all.
However, for states under the RMCO implementation, social activities are allowed, subject to strict compliance to standard operating procedures, he added. He said that the increase in the number of cases has also made it taxing for healthcare workers to transport Covid-19 patients to quarantine facilities on time. Muhyiddin said that the monsoonal floods have also made things worse.
Credit: Yiswaree Palansamy for malaymail.com (January 2021)