Govt working towards gazetting compulsory use of face masks

Several countries have already made the use of face masks compulsory, including Singapore.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is in the process of gazetting the order for the compulsory use of face masks in public places which it aims to do as soon as possible to contain the spread of Covid-19, says Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.

He said the authorities are discussing a date for this which would be set soon.

“Meanwhile, we encourage the people to wear face masks in crowded public places,” he said in a press conference at Parliament here today.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in a special message on the latest developments concerning the recovery movement control order (RMCO) on Monday said the government was considering making the use of face masks compulsory as the threat of Covid-19 was not yet over.

He said details of the move would be announced once the related regulation has been finalised by the government.

This followed a global rise in Covid-19 cases, including in Malaysia. Several countries have already made the use of face masks compulsory, including Singapore.

Meanwhile, commenting on the current Covid-19 situation, Noor Azmi said the spike in local transmissions and active cases was worrying, more so with the appearance of new clusters.

“We are ready if the cases increase further. Our worry now is how we want to control it as we found that home quarantine is not effective.

“So we are relieved at the decision to withdraw home quarantine and enforce compulsory quarantine at quarantine stations,” he said.

Noor Azmi also said those who defied the quarantine order were irresponsible as they were carrying the risk of infection to others.

“We will be sending police to act against those who deliberately violate the order,” he said.

He also said the health ministry had conducted contact tracing for family members and individuals linked to a woman of whom a picture had gone viral, showing her eating at a restaurant in Perak while wearing a home quarantine wristband.

He said the ministry would be beefing up its team in Sarawak to evaluate the implementation of the RMCO, especially in areas with infections.

Yesterday, another cluster was detected in Sarawak bringing the total to eight clusters reported in the state so far.

The new cluster also raised the number of positive Covid-19 cases in Sarawak to double digits with 11 new cases reported yesterday.

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