Covid-19 spike: PM to make announcement on Monday

Muhyiddin – Bernamapix

By John Isaac

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will make a special announcement on Monday regarding the action to be taken by the government to deal with the recent spike in Covid-19 cases.

In disclosing this, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government is constantly monitoring the situation and is concerned over the current trend where positive Covid-19 cases had surged to four digits daily beginning end of November 2020 to hit a record high of 3,027 yesterday.

“The government is studying and evaluating the actions that need to be taken immediately to control the spread of Covid-19, including possible tightening of the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the social sector to reduce movements and risk of Covid-19,” he told a press conference on the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) here today.

Ismail Sabri said the government is aware of the people’s grouses, concerns and suggestions regarding the spike in cases and understands the burden faced by healthcare workers.

The current floods in several states had also created fears that this situation could lead to a further spread of the deadly virus, he added.

On efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19 among foreign workers, he said the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) had conducted 14,212 inspections at 8,063 construction sites throughout the country from July 24 until yesterday.

“Between April 2020 and Jan 7, 2021, 19 construction sites had been ordered to close for not following the SOP,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said according to the Human Resource Ministry, 119,940 foreign workers hired by 4,458 employers had been screened for Covid-19 so far.

Of this number, 2,574 individuals were confirmed positive and 117,366 negative through tests conducted by 783 clinics.

“We hope employers will continue to cooperate with the Human Resource Ministry to send their workers for screening because action can be taken under Act 342 if they fail to do so,” he added.

On operations to ensure compliance, he said 277 individuals were arrested yesterday for violating the SOP, with 276 remanded and one given compound fine.

Ismail Sabri also said Malaysia is maintaining its policy of closing its doors to foreign tourists for now.

Although there is a proposal for Qatar Airways to bring in tourists to Langkawi with the adoption of tighter SOP, the government has decided not to open its borders to foreign tourists yet, he said. – Bernama