Partial lockdown will keep economy open, says health DG

Crowds of last-minute shoppers thronged supermarkets in the central region today in advance of the partial lockdown beginning on Wednesday.

PETALING JAYA: The partial lockdowns ordered in several states will restrict movements but still keep the economy open, says health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

Noor Hisham said this was a better decision than imposing a blanket lockdown, which would affect people’s livelihoods.

A partial lockdown through a conditional movement control order (CMCO) has been ordered in Sabah and the central region of the Peninsula. It begins in Sabah from midnight today until Oct 26. The restrictions apply in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya from 12.01am on Oct 14 until Oct 27.

The CMCO would allow the economic sector to function “but we restrict movement for social (activities), education and sports”, Noor Hisham said. “I think it is important for us to make the right decision so we can balance between life and livelihood. This is what we are doing now and we hope our action will bear fruit in two to three weeks time,” he said at a press conference.

Noor Hisham said the central region partial lockdown was ordered because new Covid-19 cases had been consistently recorded every day in different districts of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

The CMCO was implemented to prevent any more yellow zones in each state from turning into red zones.

He also said the severity of Covid-19 situations was assessed based on the pattern of the spread of infections in a certain area, not just the number of cases.

“That’s why the best choice to break the chain of infections was to implement a CMCO throughout the state, so the situation can be monitored. “It is very important to contain the spread of Covid-19 infections before it spreads to the entire state and the country.”

As about the high number of active cases in Malaysia, Noor Hisham said there was enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for the next two to three months.

He added that a total of 522 health personnel have been mobilised to treat patients in Tawau, Semporna and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.

He also urged volunteers in the medical field to come forward to help the ministry battle  the third wave of infections.

Anyone interested and eligible may reach out to the Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) at [email protected] or [email protected].