Health Ministry assessing local transmission of Covid-19, met PM on possibility of ending MCO

Dr Noor Hisham addressing the press during a press conference. Photo Credit: Radio Television Malaysia (RTM).

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KUCHING, Apr 23: The Ministry of Health (MoH) is assessing the situation of local transmission of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases before allowing the Movement Control Order (MCO) to be lifted.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah revealed that MoH is looking into the severity of local transmission cases as one of the factors before presented the findings to the federal government to make a decision to extend or lift the MCO.

He revealed that he and other officers from MoH had in principal met with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today to assess the possibility of ending the MCO.

“Yes, we did have a meeting with the PM this morning, but more importantly, we discussed in principle the six criteria we have.

“We discussed the principles, but now we need facts and science behind it before we can table concrete evidence to show qwhether we need to extend MCO or not,” he said when asked by reporters during a press conference on the Covid-19 updates at MoH’s headquarters in Putrajaya today.

He added MoH would advise Muhyiddin based on the number of daily cases, the reproduction number (Ro) and today’s trend that the ministry has gathered.

Dr Noor Hisham noted the number of cases had declined from double digits in the last few days.

Nonetheless, he outlined that out of the 71 new cases recorded today, 52 cases involved local transmission.

Out of the 52 cases, he revealed 22 cases involved foreign workers from India, Bangladesh as well as Pakistan from the Selangor Mansion.

“We need to really look into local transmission.

“When we ease the MCO, basically we need to look into local transmission as well.

“These are some of the indicators and we need to look into the six criteria before we can advise the PM accordingly to make a decision whether to continue the MCO or whether there will be a baby step exit strategy,” Dr Noor Hisham added.

At the same time, Dr Noor Hisham said the travel ban will remain even after the MCO is lifted.

He explained that border security will need to be tightened before MCO is lifted to prevent imported cases of Covid-19.

He also stated that there were more than 600 foreign migrants in Malaysia who have tested positive for Covid-19 and that there are  12,820 in quarantine.

Dr Noor Hisham revealed that there were 116 imported cases of Covid-19 before the MCO was implemented.

On another note, he disclosed that MoH has started the clinical trial for a vaccine with its first patient from the Sungai Buloh Hospital. —DayakDaily

Dr Noor Hisham addressing the press during a press conference. Photo Credit: Radio Television Malaysia (RTM).