PM: No lockdown despite sharp rise in Covid-19 cases

Malaysiakini pix

By S. Harrish

THERE will not be a nationwide lockdown despite the sharp increase of Covid-19 cases as it could cause economic collapse.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government was not considering to implement the movement control order again.

“Such measures could have a huge effect and might cause societal and economic collapse,” he said in a televised address this evening.

He said the government would instead implement targeted enhanced movement control order in red zones.

“I believe the readiness of the health system will allow us to fight the spread of Covid-19 without having to shut down the economy like before,” he said.

He said the closing of the Sabah borders would also be delayed to prevent people from being stranded.

It was supposed to start midnight today but Muhyiddin said it has been pushed back to Oct 12.

He said Malaysia was in a much better position now to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are now better prepared than before in terms of experience and manpower. We know the behaviour of the virus better and we have enough facilities and equipment,” he said.

On schools, he said the government was formulating new policies for them and also new rules to limit gatherings.

He said the National Security Council would deliberate and make an announcement on them soon.

“We must flatten the curve. We did it before and I firmly believe we can do it again,” he said.

Muhyiddin also admitted that the Sabah polls was among the reasons for the spike in cases.

He said despite the Election Commission having outlined standard operating procedures for campaigning, some failed to follow them.

The premier also insisted that the authorities do not practise double standards in enforcing quarantine.

Muhyiddin said he and seven other ministers and six deputy ministers are now home quarantined after Religious Affairs Minister Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad tested positive yesterday.

“They have to obey the rules and action can be taken if they are defiant,” he said.

He said this as Zulkifli had skipped self-quarantine for 11 days since returning from Sabah, and another minister, Datuk Khairuddin Aman Razali had also breached quarantine upon returning from Turkey.