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Health DG: 'I do not see CMCO as a failure'

Geraldine Tong

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COVID-19 | Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the conditional movement control order (MCO) imposed on the Klang Valley and Sabah over the past few weeks has not failed.

This despite Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announcing today that a conditional MCO will be implemented from Nov 9 to Dec 6 in Kedah, Penang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Malacca, Johor and Terengganu while it will be extended in Klang Valley, Sabah and Labuan.

“I do not see this as a failure. If we look at this, from the beginning of the third wave, in more than two weeks, we successfully decreased the infectivity rate from 2.2 to 1,” Noor Hisham said at his daily press conference at the Health Ministry in Putrajaya today.

He explained that the spike in daily cases yesterday, at 1,755 cases, was due to the increased screening they were doing for a few of the active prison clusters like the PTS Tawau cluster and the Sandakan prison cluster in Sabah.

Similarly, the previous sudden spikes in the number of daily Covid-19 cases were also due to increased screening activity in prison clusters, he said.

As such, Noor Hisham said the conditional MCO has actually been successful, but acknowledged that they must also step up public health activities.

While he maintained that the economic sector needed to remain open in order to balance life and livelihood, he said they must tighten restrictions on the social, sports and education sectors.

Earlier today, it was reported that a conditional MCO will be implemented in most states from Nov 9 to Dec 6 due to a rise in Covid-19 cases recently.

The only states not affected are Perlis, Pahang, Kelantan and Sarawak.