Six criteria must be met before MCO can end

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PUTRAJAYA: There are six criteria that must be fulfilled before the movement control order (MCO) can officially end, says Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

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Among these criteria are ensuring border control by screening and placing Malaysians who are returning from abroad under quarantine.

“Second is the MCO. By staying at home, the chances of being infected are low, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.

“Third is our health systems, we should reduce the time taken for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screenings.

“Fourth, we also need to enforce laws to protect those who are at high risk such as the disabled, chemotherapy patients and those with serious diseases, ” he said.

The fifth criterion, said Dr Noor Hisham, was the need for Malaysians to incorporate the new normal in their daily lives – social distancing, washing their hands and avoiding gatherings.

“Sixth, the health ministry must be able to work together with the community to enforce preventative measures in the community concerned.

“This is the framework that we have and it needs to be practised by every ministry to see how we can have a soft landing exit strategy, ” he said.

At the same time, Dr Noor Hisham said there were a total of 95 Malaysians who had returned from abroad and tested positive for Covid-19.

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Out of this total, 68 of them came from Indonesia, 12 from the United Kingdom, five from Singapore, four from Turkey, three from the Netherlands, two from the United States and one from France.

“These Malaysians were found to be positive for Covid-19 and were isolated in quarantine centres for observation and treatment, ” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the government should not allow a “balik kampung” rush to happen when university students were given the green light to return to their respective hometowns.

He pointed out that there must be proper scheduling in releasing the some 100,000 university students from their campuses.

“We should not repeat the same mistake from the past, when there was a rush of people returning to their hometowns.

“The ministry and the National Security Council are planning a strategy on this, ” he added.

Dr Noor Hisham, however, assured the public that there had not been any new Covid-19 cluster detected at any university in Malaysia.

“Many of the students have been holed up at their universities for the past four weeks.

“There has been no cluster detected among the students so far and we will be able to screen them before they are sent home, ” he said. – The Star

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