Conditional MCO extended to June 9, balik kampung exodus banned

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: The conditional movement control order (CMCO) allowing most businesses to resume operations after nearly two months’ standstill will continue until June 9 as the battle to contain the Covid-19 virus continues.

In an address aired live today, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said all standard operating procedures under the CMCO would remain in effect until then.

He said this includes restrictions on interstate travel for festivities.

“But this doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate Hari Raya, Kaamatan or Gawai,” he added.

He said visitations would be allowed among family members and neighbours living in the same state, limited to 20 people at a time.

“There is no need for big open houses.”

He also urged people to abide by the SOPs, including practising social distancing, wearing masks and using hand sanitiser.

He also said Islamic authorities are fine-tuning SOPs for congregational prayers in mosques.

“The guidelines will be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay rulers as the heads of Islam for the federation and the respective states for approval.

“I believe with SOPs, mosques will be ready to be opened. The same goes for churches, Buddhist and Hindu temples and gurdwaras,” he said, adding that the government would announce SOPs for non-Muslim houses of worship.

On interstate travel, he said he had been told of couples separated because of work in different states. He said such couples would be allowed to travel across state borders to meet.

“I appeal to the Sabah and Sarawak state governments to give some leeway for this,” he added.

“Applications can be made through the Gerak Malaysia application and at police stations.”

Family members watch from their home as Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin addresses the nation on the Covid-19 situation.

Muhyiddin also said the government had approved RM11 billion in Prihatin (BPN) aid, benefitting some 10.6 million people.

He noted complaints that some had not received the aid despite having lost their source of income due to a failure to meet requirements or incomplete applications.

Taking into account these issues, he said, the finance minister had agreed to extend the time frame for BPN appeals until May 31, 2020.

“We have tried our best to fight Covid-19, and there are signs of success. But let us not be careless. We are still in the early stages of the CMCO, and with many people going out to work, the risk of infection increases, so these coming weeks are critical.”

He said the results of the CMCO would only be seen after several weeks.

If there is a surge in number of cases, he added, the government would have to implement enhanced movement control order in those places.

“I appeal to everyone to abide by the SOP. It’s not difficult – avoid crowded places, ensure social distancing, wear masks, sanitise and wash your hands, and go out only when necessary.”

On the Covid-19 situation in the country, he said of 1,178 townships, zones, sub-zones and precincts, 1,112 (94.4%) are green zones, 62 (5.2%) are yellow zones and only four (0.34%) are red zones.

He said the green zones had not recorded any new cases for the past two weeks.

The four red zones, which have more than 40 active cases each, are the Batu township (Selangor), Batu zone (Kuala Lumpur), Kampung Baru zone (Kuala Lumpur) and Pedas township (Negeri Sembilan).

Muhyiddin advised residents in those areas to take the necessary precautions when leaving their homes, and for those outside the areas to avoid going there.

“For those in green zones, do not think you are safe and can move around freely,” he added.

“You may think that you cannot be infected because you are in a green zone, but let me remind you that Covid-19 is a silent enemy we cannot see which can strike anytime and anywhere.”

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