KUALA LUMPUR, 23 March 2020:
The government, through the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, has banned exports of face masks to ensure sufficient supply for Malaysians during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the supply of face masks in the country is currently at an unsatisfactory level, thus the government has decided to import the masks from China.
Speaking at a press conference here today, he said the local production of face masks has been affected by the inadequate supply of raw materials.
“I am told that the face masks will be imported at about RM1.18 per piece, and we will be distributing these for free to the people who need them.”
On Saturday, the government announced that it will be importing 10 million pieces of face masks from China, to be coordinated by the Transport Ministry.
Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said priority will be given 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.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said a special Cabinet meeting on the Movement Control Order (MCO) held this morning had decided operations at rubber processing centres nationwide would resume as usual as rubber tapping activities were allowed to continue during the duration.
“Stern action will be taken against rubber processing centre operators who fail to adhere to the directive.”
Ismail Sabri said during the meeting, the Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry had given the assurance there was sufficient supply of food in the market to meet the demand throughout the the MCO period.
He said that food supply sectors had also been given the green light to operate as usual throughout the MCO period to ensure adequate food supply during the period.
Agriculture, livestock breeding and fisheries activities were also allowed to operate as usual during the duration, Ismail Sabri added.