MOH: Travel restrictions has to be tightened if COVID-19 cases keep rising

THE Ministry of Health (MOH) has recommended to National Security Council (MKN) to tighten controls on inter-district, inter-state travel if COVID-19 cases in the country continue to rise, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba. 

He said the step was necessary because there was an increase in COVID-19 cases lately which is believed to have arisen from allowing inter-district and inter-state travel beginning December.

Apart from this, he said the rise in cases was also due to active measures to implement screening on all foreign workers in the manufacturing and construction sectors beginning January.

“Since Jan 1, the Government has made it mandatory for employers in these sectors to have their foreign workers screened. So when more tests are done, more positive cases will be found but we did not expect a drastic and sudden increase.

“We found this was due to elements of non-compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs) that were outlined when all economic sectors were reopened,” he told a press conference in conjunction with the handing over ceremony for the upgrading project of the blood collection centre at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (Phase 2) at the main building of the hospital earlier today.

The Member of Parliament for Tenggara also said that the positive COVID-19 cases recorded now were sporadic cases (cases happening in the community) and not mostly of cases involving non-citizens.

“The ratio between the two is 50-50. Sporadic infections are mainly due to inter-state travel and also because of gatherings or assembling in a particular place,” he said.

Yesterday, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob at a press conference in the federal capital had said that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will make a special announcement on Monday regarding the action to be taken by the Government to deal with the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

He said that the government is also studying and evaluating the actions that need to be taken immediately to control the spread of COVID-19, including possible tightening of the SOPs for the social sector to reduce movements. – Jan 9, 2021

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