KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — Malaysia will only be declared free of COVID-19 if no new positive cases are recorded for 28 consecutive days, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The statement from Dr Noor Hisham yesterday raised a serious question – can a zero figure of new infections for 28 consecutive days be achieved?
The implementation of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) from June 10 which saw more relaxation granted including interstate travel, means that all public transport services, including flights and express buses, as well as e-hailing services and private vehicles, are now allowed to operate at full capacity while adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in an announcement yesterday that e-hailing, taxi and express bus services could operate as normal.
Not only that, all mosques, Friday and community suraus in the Federal Territories’ COVID-19 Green Zones will reopen for the congregational Friday and obligatory daily prayers starting today provided that the mosques and suraus only accommodate one-third of the prayer hall capacity.
There will be no more police and Armed Forces personnel to inspect our vehicles, or pay us a surprise visit at home to issue a compound for having a crowd or even to ask us to turn around for attempting interstate travel.
However, the compound will continue to be issued if we fail to comply with the SOPs set by the government.
After nearly four months keeping eyes on us and our movement, under the Movement Control Order (MCO) and Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), now the responsibilities that used to be shouldered by our highly dedicated frontliners lie in our own hands, all Malaysians.
The government has repeatedly reminded us to comply with the SOPs at all times.
Mobile applications such as MySejahtera and MyTrace have also been created to help keep track of contacts, and at the same time people have been urged to be honest and responsible in providing their information.
Individual self-discipline in complying with the SOPs while practising the new normal is crucial in the efforts to prevent a spike in COVID-19 infection, as well as determining the point at which the RMCO has succeeded in ensuring the country is free of declared COVID-19.