Health Ministry to decide on MCO extension beyond April 14 – Ismail Sabri

Ismail Sabri at the press conference.

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By Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, Apr 2: There has yet to be any decision to further extend the movement control order (MCO) beyond the extended period of April 14.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision lies with the Health Ministry, depending on the Covid-19 situation in the country.

On a positive note, he expressed content that public compliance on the MCO was improving. The Covid-19 curve was also flattening, he added.

“Despite positive compliance with the MCO, as well as the (declining) trend of the Covid-19 curve, the authorities will continue with strict enforcement.

“However, the Health Ministry will decide whether the MCO needs to be extended or not,” he said at the daily Covid-19 (non-health) press conference at Putrajaya today.

The federal government enforced the MCO since March 18 and extended the 14-day order till April 14, to curb the Covid-19 outbreak.

Ismail Sabri, who is also Defence Minister said yesterday (April 1), police have arrested 562 individuals, when compared to 583 the previous day, in various roadblocks across the country for violating the MCO.

This marked a 3.6 per cent reduction in arrest, he added.

“If the decrease trend demonstrates improved public compliance with the restriction order, this positivity is much awaited by the government, as it shows increased awareness among the people.

“The police will continue with their duty to ensure the public comply with the MCO,” he continued.

Since the restricted movement order, Ismail Sabri said 4,189 individuals have been arrested for violating the MCO. A total of 1,449 individuals have been charged in court.

“Some were fined and some handed jail time, with some cases as long as eight months for various violations such as obstructing the enforcement officers on duty,” Ismail Sabri said, while advising the public to abide by the MCO.

He added that 687 roadblocks have been carried out across the country, with 380,342 vehicles checked. Authorities have also carried out spot checks on 23,256 premises.

“Police will continue with strict measures as we enter the extended phase of the MCO, which ends April 14,” he continued.

When asked on Ramadan bazaars across the country, in light of the coming Muslim fasting month, he said the matter has yet to be discussed with the relevant ministries.

“We haven’t talked about this, it is still too early to discuss the matter. We will look at the pros and cons, but we must get the view of the Health Ministry,” Ismail Sabri said.—DayakDaily