CMCO needed to break Covid-19 chain

Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR – The Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) is enforced in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya after new cases reported were consistent in the three areas everyday.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said even though the new cases recorded were less than 100 daily, they were scattered and have started to spread in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya as well as all districts in Selangor except Sabak Bernam.

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The government cannot wait and see until the yellow zones turn red to implement CMCO or the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO), he said at a virtual media conference aired over the Health Ministry’s Facebook site Oct 12.

Dr Noor Hisham explained that the risk evaluation on whether the situation was bad or otherwise did not depend solely on daily positive cases as there was also a need to look at the pattern of infection spreading in a state.

“So if the infection is focused on one or two districts, the approach of the Targeted Movement Control Order maybe implemented.

“However if the spread of infection is in every district, in the state with new cases scattered in Selangor and Klang Valley (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya), this means the spread could not be contained effectively,” he said.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday said the special MKN meeting agreed that CMCO is implemented in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya starting 12.01 am on Oct 14 until 27 after receiving the advice of MOH and taking into consideration the rise in cases and spread of COVID-19 infection in Klang, Petaling district and Gombak.

Elaborating further, Dr Noor Hisham said the implementation of CMCO was also decided to break infection from spreading across state more effectively after taking into consideration the difficulty in border control for Selangor and the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

“It is a more proactive and effective move especially to ensure the capability of our public health to plan well.

“The implementation of the order is a very important preventive action carried out to contain the spread of COVID-19 before it proliferates from state to state,” he said.

Commenting on World Health Organisation’s warning against using lockdown as the primary means for controlling the virus as it might have impact on poverty, Dr Noor Hisham clarified that the action taken by the government is not a total lockdown.

“We mitigate the impact by looking into Conditional Movement Control Order in which we allowed the economic sector to function but we restrict movements for the social, education, as well as sports.

“I think it is important for us to make a decision, the right decision so that we can actually balance life and livelihood, this is what we are doing now and we hope that our action would bear fruits within two or three weeks time and we will continue to monitor the situation closely,” he said.

On whether workers who deal directly with the people, are required to take the swab test following several cases of employees in shopping centres detected positive for COVID-19, Dr Noor Hisham said the earlier standard operating procedure is still in use and employers are encouraged to send their workers for screening from time to time.

“Health personnel, frontliners from related agencies are screened at the workplace from time to time apart from screening personnel known as close contacts.

“What is important is that MOH and health staff would carry out risk evaluation at the shops and we will decontaminate the place as well,” he said.

— BERNAMA