Ismail Sabri justifies movement restrictions as saving lives, amid discontent from certain quarters

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Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the new measures were meant to 'save lives'. — Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the new measures were meant to 'save lives'. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 — The government has implemented movement restriction as part of the movement control order (MCO) in its effort to save lives, said Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the efforts to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19 still require a combination of effort between the Health Ministry’s Public Health Action programme and the enforcement of public adherence to the standard operating procedures (SOP)

“What we are doing now is to increase the movement restriction in order to save the lives of many, even though there are some who are still unable to accept this,” Ismail said in a statement.

As the daily infection rates are worrying, he said the combination of both the programme and enforcement is vital to ensure the public does not react slowly, as well as reduce the number of cases.

“Malaysia is facing the third Covid-19 wave, and this phenomenon is very worrying, to the extent that the highest number of cases was recorded on May 20, with 6,806 cases.

“Presently the infectivity rate or R-naught for the country stands at 1.2, compared to the 0.8 recorded in the middle of April this year,” Ismail said.

Although surveys have indicated the adherence of SOPs among Malaysians is still high, the minister added that enforcement must be enhanced so as to raise their awareness.

“No other method is possible at this point in time, aside from increasing enforcement, as it is a matter of educating rather than punishing,” he said.

Thursday’s cases have since been surpassed by today’s infections, which stand at 6,976 cases.

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