PUTRAJAYA, March 21 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will take delivery of 10 million face masks from China in phases to meet a shortage of supply in the country as it combats COVID-19.
Senior Minister (Infrastructure Cluster) Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said today the Malaysian government has reached an agreement with the Chinese government and arrangements to take delivery are being worked out by the Transport Ministry with the collaboration of an airline.
“The arrangements are being finalised by the Transport Ministry, including on the quantum under the first phase and so on,” he told a press conference after chairing a special committee meeting of the relevant ministers on the Movement Control Order (MCO) here today.
Yesterday, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi announced that the ceiling price of face masks has been raised from 80 sen to RM2 per piece and import of the masks has been allowed in view of the shortage in the domestic market.
Elaborating, Fadillah, who is also the Works Minister, said the distribution of the masks from China will be handled by the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA).
UPDATE ORDER-MASKS 2 (LAST) PUTRAJAYA
He also said that priority will be given to the distribution of the masks to the frontliners managing COVID-19 as well as the clinics, Health Ministry offices at the federal and state levels, police, immigration authorities and military personnel working with the frontliners.
Additional stocks will be put up for sale to the public, he said, adding that this will be handled by NADMA with the cooperation of Pharmaniaga.
On whether a new ceiling price will be set, Fadillah said this will be discussed by a committee comprising representatives from the Finance Ministry, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry and Transport Ministry.
On the directive to restrict the operating hours of eateries and shops selling essential goods in the states, Fadillah said yesterday’s meeting of the ministerial committee on MCO decided that the authority on the matter be left to the state governments.
Melaka has directed the closure of eateries, drive-through outlets, retail shops and 24-hour convenience stores from 7 pm to 7 am. Pahang has also directed the closure of eateries and 24-hour convenience stores from 7 pm to 7 am in five districts.
The MCO is in force from March 18 to 31 in a bid to break the chain of the COVID-19 infection.
TAGS: face masks, COVID-19, Fadillah, China, closure