MCO 2.0 extension to Feb 18, spans CNY celebrations

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The movement control order (MCO) currently enforced across the country, except several areas in Sarawak, has been extended to February 18, effectively covering the Chinese New Year festival that falls on February 12 and 13.

Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, during his press conference today, said the extension will start from February 5, a day after the initial MCO 2.0 was supposed to be lifted.

“Risk assessments carried out by the Health Ministry found daily cases in all states showed an upward trend with increasing case numbers, with high numbers of sporadic infections within the community among both locals and non-Malaysians.

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“Therefore, the National Security Council during its meeting today agreed to extend the MCO 2.0 enforced across the country from February 5 to Feb 18,” he said during the live broadcast today.

Ismail said interstate travel has been barred for the next phase of the MCO.

He said the ban on interstate travel was justified, as the spread of some Covid-19 infections were the result of such activity.

He added that 31 virus clusters that are currently active were due to interstate travel.

“That is why we stress that interstate travel is not allowed. Roadblocks mounted by the enforcement agencies are aimed at reducing people’s movement.

“Another SOP that will apply is to limit the number of patrons in supermarkets,” he said.

Ismail also said that the extended MCO 2.0 will differ from the MCO implemented last year, as some restrictions will be loosened, especially in several economic sectors, including petty businesses.

“We are aware that if we shut it down totally, it will cause hardship to the people, especially the poor, B40 group, or those earning daily wages.

“Based on these factors, we will loosen the restrictions to enable them to conduct businesses.

“Sectors allowed to operate will be announced by the National Security Council (MKN). MKN will also assess applications by businesses that apply to operate.

“But despite loosening some restrictions, we still want the public to comply with the standard operating procedure as the number of infections is still high.”

He added that the Health Ministry had informed MKN to expect a high number of daily cases as a continuing trend.

 

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