Health Ministry: Putrajaya to decide whether MCO needs further extending on April 10

Azril Annuar
An Armed Forces personnel conducts checks on a vehicle during a roadblock in Petaling Jaya April 1, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

PUTRAJAYA, April 2 ― The government will decide on April 10 whether or not conditions in Malaysia are safe enough to end the extended movement control order (MCO) on April 14, or have it continued further.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah told the daily Covid-19 press conference said that currently it is still too early to tell whether or not the infection rate in the country is getting better.

“We expect phase two to end but on April 10, a few days before it ends, we will look at our performance.

“Although yesterday I said we have early signs of some improvement, it is still too early to make any conclusions. What is crucial is that over the next two weeks we flatten the curve,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

Earlier today, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Putrajaya has not decided on any further extension to the ongoing MCO yet pending input from Ministry of Health (MOH).

Dr Noor Hisham explained that the reason behind the government’s focus on “flattening the curve” is not to have zero Covid-19 infection rate, but to give hospitals enough breathing room to treat and manage the cases.

He explained that if there were an exponential spike in cases, current medical facilities and institutions would not be able to cope with the situation.

“The reason that we want to flatten the curve is not to have a zero-infection rate of Covid-19 but it is to allow our hospitals the room to cope and manage the patients. Our hospital will not be able to cope with an exponential spike in cases.

“Our ICUs will not be able to handle the situation,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

The MCO was first announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on the night of March 16, and came into effect on March 18.

On March 25, Muhyiddin announced the MCO would be extended for another fortnight, and is set to expire on April 14.

Three areas have so far been put under extended MCO: Menara One City in Kuala Lumpur, and several villages in Simpang Renggam in Kluang, Sungai Lui in Hulu Langat.


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