MCO extension: Health Ministry to decide if 80,000 tertiary students continue to stay put

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By Chew Lip Song

THE Health Ministry will decide if the over 80,000 students living in campuses nationwide need to stay put or are allowed to return to their hometowns following the extension of the Movement Control Order (MC)).

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today said the earlier stay-put order needed to be studied given the huge number of students involved and the need to contain the spread of Covid-19, FMT reported.

“The number also includes those who want to return to Sabah and Sarawak,” he said in a media conference.

“The health ministry says there is a drop in the number of Covid-19 cases. The health ministry does not want it to increase, especially after the MCO was extended until the end of the month.”

The MCO, which started on March 18, will start its third phase from April 15 to 28.

Ismail also warned of sterner action against those who failed to follow the rules during the MCO, with police charging them in court.

He said under Section 24 (342) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act, offenders may face up to two years’ jail and a fine for the first offence. Second-time offenders will face a jail term of up to five years and a fine, or both.

Those found obstructing civil servants, including doctors and nurses, from carrying out duties during the MCO will also be charged under Section 186 of the Penal Code, he said.

Ismail said they could be jailed up to two years or fined up to RM10,000.

He said police arrested 1,095 people yesterday for ignoring the MCO, with 815 individuals slapped with a RM1,000 compound fine, 242 remanded and 38 allowed bail.

Since March 18, the police have arrested 7,759 individuals.

Yesterday, the police and the army carried out 779 roadblocks and inspected 490,249 vehicles.

Ismail also warned news portals not to report fake news, especially those involving government official statements. “Don’t report news that can cause confusion among the public.”

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