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Zafrul: MCO 3.0 first of three phases to combat Covid-19

Zafrul: MCO 3.0 first of three phases to combat Covid-19

01 Jun 2021

The current Movement Control Order 3.0 (MCO 3.0) is the first of three phases to be enforced by the government to address the Covid-19 situation in the country, Minister of Finance Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz told a press conference today.

The government will enter phase two of the strategy, estimated to span four weeks, when MCO 3.0 succeeds in reducing new cases in the country — though the target daily cases for this was not indicated.

Phase two will see the reopening of economic sectors which do not involve mass gathering and which can adhere to social distancing rules, according to the minister’s presentation deck for the briefing on the latest federal government stimulus package PEMERKASA+.

Phase three will involve the implementation of an MCO with more relaxed standard operating procedures as seen in the past, where almost all economic sectors can operate with limited workplace capacity, although certain social activities will still not be allowed.

“As stated by the prime minister, we will move into different phases of the MCO in stages, based on the risk assessment by the Ministry of Health taking into account among Covid-19 cases, as well as capacity utilisation of hospitals especially the ICUs (intensive care units),” said Zafrul at the virtual press conference.

Malaysia entered its latest lockdown from June 1 to June 14, as daily new cases breached 9,000, with active cases surpassing 79,000, while ICU capacity utilisation reached 95% of total capacity.

On May 31, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the RM40 billion PEMERKASA+ package, which among others included another RM1 billion to increase the capacity of the nation’s healthcare system, and additional cash and credit assistance for affected individuals and businesses.

Earlier this year, Malaysia’s states switched between different restrictions of MCOs from January, where daily new cases declined from the peak of 5,725 in January to under 1,500 in April.

In 2020, Malaysia switched from MCO 1.0 to Conditional Movement Control Order in May that year as active cases hovered at 1,700, and later to Recovery Movement Control Order in June when active cases dropped to below 100.

Source: The Edge Markets

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