Health D-G pleads with relief NGOs to abide by MCO to minimise Covid-19 risks

Danial Dzulkifly
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah at a press conference in Putrajaya March 24, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — Relief NGOs have been advised today to follow the rules and regulations set by the government during the movement control order (MCO) to lessen risks of them infected with Covid-19.

Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah conceded today the groups have good intention by providing aid towards marginalised communities, and called for better relationship between them and the government to achieve their goals.

“We have to follow the rules because of the MCO. If the NGO is on the field, meeting with people, then there is a risk towards said NGO.

“So we have to see both parties, while their intention is good but we have to enhance the control. How we can help the NGO is through an integrated centre,” he said, referring to a single collection point for the distribution of food in each respective area or district.

This follows after Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri who advised NGOs who are helping to feed the needy and homeless to instead channel their food to aid centres under the purview of the Peoples Welfare Department and the Ministry of Women and Family Development in each district.

He said this is to ensure that the food will be sent to one collection point then be disbursed by RELA and the army.

Since the announcement by Ismail, many had pushed back on his advice, inducing PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who called for the review on move, stating that NGOs too should bear the burden to help the needy.

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