Govt mulling enhanced MCO, says Ismail Sabri

Two villages in Simpang Renggam, Johor, are now under the enhanced movement control order after the health ministry registered a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases there. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob says he will make an announcement on an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) once the authorities have studied the actions involved and the effects on the people.

Still, he said, this would not amount to a curfew.

On Thursday, Ismail announced an enhanced EMCO following a spike in Covid-19 cases in two areas in Simpang Renggam, Kluang, Johor.

The EMCO at Kampung Dato Ibrahim Majid and Bandar Baharu Dato Ibrahim Majid involves 3,500 residents, who have been told to stay at home at all times. All business activities have been ordered to close until April 9.

They are being supplied food while tests are carried out on all residents.

In a telecast address today, Ismail, a senior minister, said people should not believe fake news that an emergency curfew would be enforced.

“I want to make it clear that stories on curfews and emergency are false. As long as the MCO is under Act 342 of the health ministry, it is not a curfew and just a MCO.”

He added that while further restrictions may be introduced, such as limited operating hours, markets and supermarkets would still be allowed to open.

On a separate matter, Ismail said NGOs which now provided food to members of the public would no longer be allowed to directly deliver food.

“The government is thankful for their assistance but rules must be followed.”

He said the government cannot allow people to move freely and send food as they wanted to minimise movements during the MCO.

The NGOs, he said, would now have to send food to Welfare Department centres in each district that will now act as collection points.

“Rela and the Civil Defence Force members will now distribute the food.”