By Karen Bong
KUCHING, July 23: Wearing face masks will be made compulsory on public transportation, flights and crowded public places, including markets, starting Aug 1.
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the National Security Council (NSC) has decided to impose this measure following the lack of public compliance with standard operating procedure (SOP) especially social distancing in crowded public places.
“The Covid-19 situation in the country saw double digit cases in the past three days which is worrying. This happened because of public attitudes who have let their guard down and are not complying with SOP.
“We observed today many people are not wearing their face masks when taking LRT (light rail transit) and on airplanes where social distancing cannot be practiced,” he told a daily press conference on Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) in Putrajaya today.
Sabri thus emphasised the importance of wearing a face mask when social distancing cannot be observed to protect oneself and prevent or slow the spread of Covid-19.
“Previously, face mask was not compulsory because we understand it will be a burden for the lower income group considering the disposable face mask should practically be used one per day and thrown away in the trash,” he said.
On the most recent recommendations on the types of face masks to be used, he said people can now make their own face mask such as using cloth or fabric but the specifications must follow the guideline issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“The Health Ministry will release the WHO guidelines so people can know what are the best kind of (non-medical) face masks to use or make for themselves,” he added.
Ismail warned that those who failed to adhere to the SOP and new rules for the RMCO, legal actions can be taken under Act 342 and they could face a maximum fine of RM1,000.
“Wearing face masks and practicing social distancing are two very important measures to help cut the spread of transmission,” he reiterated.—DayakDaily