PUTRAJAYA (Oct 3): It is not necessary to reimplement the movement control order (MCO) despite a surge in Covid-19 positive cases in the country, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said this is because most of the cases involve prison inmates in Kedah and Sabah, which can be considered as isolated.
“No … we are not declaring the MCO because in Kedah, for example, although 129 cases were recorded, 128 of them were from the Tembok cluster, involving prison inmates there.
“Meanwhile in Sabah, 35 cases were from the Benteng cluster, involving a prison … although the remaining 78 cases were quite high [in number], we have carried out control measures,” he told a press conference after attending the special National Security Council (NSC) meeting on Covid-19 chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin here today.
Ismail Sabri said Covid-19 cases in other parts of the country were still low in number except for Selangor with 31 cases, but the state had not reached the red-zone level.
“Only one or two cases were recorded in other states, so this not a worrying matter.
“If we impose a nationwide lockdown just because of one or two cases, we will end up enforcing the MCO forever,” he said.
Ismail Sabri said, if necessary, the government would implement the targeted enhanced movement control order (TEMCO) in areas or localities categorised as Covid-19 red zones.
As such, he said interstate or inter-district travel restriction would not be imposed at the moment.
“I urge the people not to panic, but do not take it (the current Covid-19 situation) lightly and be complacent … always practise a high level of self control as long as we have not found the vaccine,” he said.
On claims that politicians who returned from Sabah caused the increase in Covid-19 cases in the country, Ismail Sabri said of the more than 13,000 screenings conducted on returnees from the state, about 130 or only 1% were tested positive for the virus.
He said not all of them were politicians as there were also tourists and those who had travelled to Sabah for work purposes.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said the government did not impose the 14-day mandatory quarantine on those returning from Sabah as the state is still within the country and thus it is categorised as interstate travel.
He said mandatory quarantine is only imposed on those returning from abroad because it is difficult for the authorities to trace places they have visited as well as their close contacts.
On the actions of certain quarters who posted pictures and names of individuals that had tested positive for Covid-19 on social media, Ismail Sabri said it is an offence under the Personal Data Protection Act.
“We have never disclosed their names as it would be a breach of privacy,” he added.