PETALING JAYA: The authorities would no longer wait for Covid-19 cases to increase to “red zone” status before imposing a lockdown on an area, says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Defence Minister said pre-emptive lockdown measures were necessary to quickly break the chain of transmission before it spreads to other regions and states.
“For example, when we first imposed the lockdown in Mukim Klang, we did not lockdown Kapar.
“People were free to move around, and eventually Kapar turned into a red zone, and one by one it spread to other districts including Petaling, Gombak, and Kajang.
“If we wait for areas to turn into red zones before imposing a movement control order (MCO), it may be too late,” he told a press conference Wednesday (Nov 11).
He said preemptive measures would be taken based on the Health Ministry’s risk analysis.
“We will impose pre-emptive measures before the areas turn into red zones.
“We no longer want to apply the firefighting strategy to put out the fire, as the virus is also spreading in the community.
“As observed in Sabah, the cases have dropped from an average of 700 to 800 cases a day to about 200 today,” he said.
Ismail attributed the reduced number of cases to the locking down of state and district borders.
He also noted that Negeri Sembilan, which used to be a green state, had Covid-19 cases in every district except Tampin, as pre-emptive measures were not taken to close the borders.
He said many people were still questioning why the authorities had taken such drastic measures to close down state borders.
“We are doing this to save the rakyat,” he said.