NST: No more blanket MCO, says PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will not implement a "blanket" movement control order (MCO) in the event daily Covid-19 infections show an increase following the easing of restrictions on interstate and overseas travels.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government would instead use the targeted approach, by enforcing the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) on localities identified with a Covid-19 outbreak.

As the country gears towards treating the pandemic as endemic, Ismail Sabri said Malaysians had no choice but to live with the virus and continue to comply with the regulations and standard operating procedures (SOP).

"For example, in Langkawi recently, instead of closing the entire tourist island, we only closed a hotel to prevent the spread of the virus.

"Another example is the situation at my parliamentary constituency in Bera, where two villages have been placed under the EMCO. Restaurants and businesses at other areas in Bera remain operational," he said.

Ismail Sabri also said the Health Ministry was in the process of formulating the necessary SOP as well as identifying a specific date on when the country would transition into the endemic phase.

He added the number of SOP enforced during the endemic phase would be fewer than now.

For now, he said there were more than 180 SOP being enforced to curb and prevent the spread of the virus.

"There is a possibility that there would be fewer SOP as we transition into the endemic phase.

"What is important is we must train ourselves to live with Covid-19.

"It is important and a big responsibility for us to continue to self-regulate and comply with the preventive measures."

Ismail Sabri also urged the people who have yet to get vaccinated to do so.

"There were critics who were quick to jump to the conclusion that people who are fully vaccinated can still contract the virus.

"I would like to say here that by getting fully vaccinated, it will help to reduce the risk of getting the virus. In the event they contract the virus, it will prevent fully vaccinated people from suffering severe symptoms associated with Covid-19.

"The latest data showed those who have been fully vaccinated and exposed to the virus only suffered Category One (asymptomatic) and Category Two (mild symptoms). This is the difference between people who have been fully vaccinated and those not vaccinated," he said.

The latest data from the Health Ministry also showed that vaccination had reduced admission to Intensive Care Units (ICU) at healthcare facilities by 83 per cent. It also helped reduce the percentage of people dying from the virus by 88 per cent.

"What we are observing now is a declining trend in ICU bed utilisation and death rate due to the virus," he said.

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