PUTRAJAYA, 24 Oct 2020:
The Health Ministry (MoH) may propose an extension of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, which will expire on Tuesday Oct 27, if the number of Covid-19 cases here continue to rise.
For now, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry is monitoring case data daily to see if the CMCO in these states need to be extended.
“We will disseminate the data, each of us knows whether it is necessary to extend (CMCO) or not. But the reality today is that cases are on the rise,” he said at a daily press conference on the development of Covid-19 today.
Dr Noor Hisham said today there were 76 new Covid-19 cases in Selangor – bringing the total to 3,880 cases.
He said the state recorded an increase of 1,279 positive cases compared to 14 days ago – on Oct 11 – when only 26 new cases were recorded, bringing the cumulative total number of Covid-19 cases to 2,601.
Dr Noor Hisham said the increase in cases also resulted in the number of red zones in the state of Selangor increasing from two to six districts in 14 days.
The most significant increase was in the districts of Hulu Langat (168 cases), Klang (115 cases) and Gombak (93 cases).
“The increase in local transmission cases in Selangor was first seen on Oct 2, and has increased consistently until today.”
Dr Noor Hisham said the transmission of Covid-19 in Selangor in the third wave initially only involved cases with a history of travel from Sabah, involving nine clusters – but then there was a local transmission involving 35 active clusters.
“Lately, from Oct 11, the local transmission in Selangor began to result in workplace-related clusters, where so far six clusters have been detected in the state.”
Therefore, Dr Noor Hisham said – apart from continuing Covid-19 screening at all international and domestic entry points for visitors returning from Sabah – CMCO in the Klang Valley was implemented with effect from Oct 14.
Further, employees in managerial and supervisory roles across the public and private sectors were allowed to work from home with effect from Oct 22.
It was earlier announced the CMCO in Sabah – scheduled to end on Monday Oct 26 – will be extended for another 14 days, until Nov 9.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this was decided in the National Security Council’s (MKN) special meeting today, after examining current Covid-19 developments in the state.
He said as of now, MoH is still conducting targeted screenings in the state, and there were many positive cases being detected.
“In this regard, upon the recommendation of the Sabah MKN and the advice of MoH, the government has agreed to extend the CMCO throughout Sabah for 14 days,” he said during his press conference at Wisma Pertahanan.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said the special meeting today also agreed to enforce an Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) in Taman Semarak and the Balung People’s Housing Project in Tawau for 14 days from Oct 26 to Nov 8, following the increase in positive Covid-19 cases in the two localities.
He said the EMCO imposed in the two locations involved 4,266 houses with 21,470 residents, all of whom would not be allowed to leave the area.
“All schools, mosques and other houses of worship will be closed during this period, while some flexibility is given to grocery stores to operate, only from 6am to 6pm.
“Sports, recreational, social and cultural activities are not allowed, and MoH will conduct targeted screenings of the residents involved.”
Food supplies will be distributed by the state government and coordinated by the State Disaster Operations Control Centre, he said
Ismail Sabri, who is also Defence Minister said the EMCO at the Tropicana Staff Hostel in Petaling Jaya will end according to schedule tomorrow (Oct 25). However, he said the area would still be under the CMCO announced for the state of Selangor.
He said MoH had conducted a total of 503 screenings at the hostel as of yesterday, with 23 positive cases detected. “All of them have received treatment at the hospital, while close contacts have been instructed to undergo mandatory quarantine.”
The government previously announced an EMCO at the staff quarters from Oct 12 to Oct 25.
Ismail Sabri also said whether the CMCO in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan will be extended or not would only be known at least a day before it ends. He said an announcement on the matter would be made after receiving advice and evaluation from MoH.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said employers are responsible for taking action against employees – who are allowed to work from home but do not carry out the tasks assigned – because they engage in social activities such as going out sightseeing, shopping and so on.
“For example, I have experienced sitting at home for a period of 14 days. At first I may feel sitting at home is not much work but for a period of 14 days, I think I worked 14 days.
“At 8am I have a meeting until 2pm or 3pm, at 5pm Facebook live (press conference), after 5pm have to update information on social media until 8pm or 9pm, every day for 14 days. There is no time to leave the house because we have Key Performance Indicators.”
Dr Noor Hisham said the main purpose of working from home was for more people to stay at home, reducing community mobility and the spread of Covid-19 in CMCO areas.
He also appealed to all employers and employees to abide by this ruling as it would help reduce the risk of transmission in the workplace.