Fed govt mulls wearing of face masks compulsory at public places

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, July 20: The federal government is looking into making the wearing of face masks compulsory at public places.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is concerned that with the emergence of 13 new clusters of Covid-19 including the Stutong market cluster in Sarawak during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period, the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia is yet to be under control.

Thus, he said the federal government will make the announcement in due course once the details of the regulations are being finalised.

“Although Covid-19 cases in Malaysia remained low, I am worried about the discovery of 13 new clusters during RMCO.

“For instance, the Kuala Lumpur restaurant cluster among restaurant workers which was reported since July 6 and Stutong (market) cluster since July 18.

“Besides, since July 7, there were four new imported clusters detected involving returnees from overseas which include one cluster in Sarawak with three cases, cluster in Malacca with five cases, cluster in Terengganu with three cases and cluster in Kuala Lumpur with two cases

“What makes me more worried is the positive Covid-19 cases reported in the last few days have been in double digits,” he said during a special address on the RMCO at Putrajaya today.

He believed that Malaysians do not want to go back to the period of MCO as in the past.

Muhyiddin opined that if there is a drastic surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia which requires the federal government to reinforce the MCO, there could be a big impact to the country’s economy.

He estimated that the country’s economy could lose RM2 billion a day and millions of workers would be out of jobs if MCO was to be reimplemented.

Muhyiddin added that the country’s gross domestic product growth (GDP) for 2021 could also be revised lower if MCO was to be brought back.

He revealed that the federal government has announced various financial assistance in the form of economic stimulus packages and the short-term economic recovery plan (Penjana) which has amounted to RM295 billion to assist the people and businesses.

Thus, Muhyiddin reminded the people to adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) as set by the Ministry of Health (MoH).

He urged community leaders and village headmen especially those in the rural areas to patrol their villages, coffee shops and their surroundings to ensure that the people are abiding by the SOPs.

Additionally, he urged school principals, teachers, prefects and class monitors to play a proactive role in schools to ensure that the students are complying with the SOPs set by the Ministry of Education.

Muhyddin is seeking the cooperation from all parties to ensure that the country is able to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission and ensure that the country is able to combat Covid-19 successfully.

He stressed that the federal government will not hesitate to enforce strict regulations and penalties for those who violated the law and regulations.

“Each and every one of us in the family and community play a critical role as frontliners to ensure the safety of the people,” Muhyiddin said.

Therefore, he appealed to the public to follow the SOPs and guidelines set by the MoH in combating the Covid-19 pandemic  —DayakDaily