Too early to say if MCO needs to be extended, says health DG

The movement control order is currently scheduled to end on April 14.

PETALING JAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says it is too early to make any conclusions about whether the movement control order (MCO) needs to be extended until Ramadan which begins on April 24.

Currently, the MCO which began on March 18 will continue until April 14.

“We will only know after the first week of April to see how we have performed (during the MCO).

“If we can continue to flatten the curve and there is no exponential increase, then I think we can safely make a decision.”

Noor Hisham said what was important now was social distancing and avoiding crowded places.

If people wanted to “embrace” Ramadan bazaars, he said, social distancing and hygiene rules and practices must be strictly adhered to.

With another two weeks of the MCO to go, Noor Hisham said he hoped the public would continue to do their part and stay at home while the authorities increased testing and identifying groups which need to be isolated and treated.

“If we all have social discipline, I am sure we can flatten the curve to avoid an exponential spike.

“If not, the prediction by JP Morgan and the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research is that in mid-April, we will have a surge.”

The two organisations previously estimated that Malaysia’s Covid-19 cases would peak at over 6,000 and 9,000 respectively.

It was earlier announced that a record 91 people recovered from Covid-19 today, bringing the total to 479.

To date, 2,626 cases have been recorded with 37 deaths.