Selangor MB: Any Form of Covid-19 ‘Lockdown’ Decision Up to Putrajaya, NSC
Posted On May 20, 2021
PETALING JAYA, May 19 — Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari stressed today that any form of containment measures involving the announcement of full lockdowns to curb the spread of Covid-19 rests solely on the authority of the federal government and National Security Council (NSC).
In a press conference to dispel public misconceptions and confusion, Amirudin said the Selangor state government has remained consistently firm in its stance that it will welcome the possibilities of a total lockdown or tightened restrictions with the hope that it will be holistically implemented.
“Once again the authority to make any containment measures announcement is subject to the jurisdiction of the federal government whereby state governments are called in to give their suggestions.
“In line with yesterday’s and today’s statement, the state government welcomes any lockdown with the hope that it is seen holistically in terms of other living aspects such as the marginalised, mental health and social wellbeing which we learned from the first MCO implemented nationwide.
“This is so that we can decide on a win-win position for all parties, including public health, general wellbeing and the state’s economy,” he told a press conference here.
Amirudin’s response follows a remark made by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba on Monday, saying the ministry was mulling the implementation of a total movement control order (MCO) lockdown in Selangor, should the number of cases continue to rise.
On Selangor Covid-19 task force chairman Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad’s remarks that the state government was not in favour of implementing a full-scale MCO, Amirudin said news reports on the aforementioned statement were only half-truths.
He said he was compelled to provide clarifications over the “confusion” which arose following Dzulkefly’s remark, noting that what the latter said was not finalised since discussions were still being held.
Amirudin then clarified that Dzulkefly explicitly stated that effective follow-up measures such as expediting vaccinations and mass testing on the population must follow suit in accordance with the state’s existing capabilities to sustain any after-effects of a full lockdown.
“I found that Dzulkefly’s statement explained that lockdowns must be accompanied by follow-up measures such as comprehensive vaccinations and mass testing, support for the community in terms of education and financial support so we can strike a balance between public health and livelihood in Selangor.
“Actually, we are not rejecting (a full lockdown). We have to see the overall objective of it,” he said.
He explained further that if the proposed lockdown was aimed at stopping the outbreak, then one must expand their mass testing capacity so the infections do not spread within residences or if it’s aimed at inoculating the masses, then one must expedite the ongoing vaccinations process.
To a question from reporters, Amirudin said a meeting with the NSC would be held this week — either tomorrow or Friday — on whether to impose a full-scale lockdown in the state whereby the final decision would be made and announced by the federal government.
“Announcing whether there is a lockdown or not is easy, but its impacts are massive. If we want a full lockdown, what are our plans on completing vaccinations as well as conducting tests and isolating patients? There should be details.
“It’s not simply whether we agree or disagree. It’s not like that. We need to look at it thoroughly. The decision for a lockdown is not merely just a snap of a finger or an announcement.
“The problem will not be solved if the administration has no clear focus and this must be made clear to the public,” he added.
New Covid-19 infections skyrocketed today to a record high of 6,075 new cases reported over the last 24-hour period, with more than one-third in Selangor.
A tweet by Health director-general Tan Sri Noor Hisham Abdullah revealed 2,251 new cases in Selangor alone, followed by 699 in Johor and 660 in Kuala Lumpur as the top three states.