KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — The government’s announcement yesterday to allow cinemas to resume operations from July 1 must surely have been sweet music to film buffs in the country.

After almost three months of having to settle for the ‘small screen’ at home, watching repeated screenings of old shows and films, this announcement was definitely joyful news to movie fans.

One film which has been waiting on the reels was ‘James Bond: No Time To Die’, which was scheduled for screening in April but was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also waiting their turn to hit the screens were Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’; ’Mulan’  from Walt Disney Pictures, and horror pics ‘Antlers’ and ‘Antebellum’.

Besides this announcement by Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob allowing cinemas to resume operations, the government has also given the green light to theatre activities and ‘live events” to be held, while swimming in public pools is now permitted, as well as in pools in hotels, condominiums, gated communities and private pools.

Speaking in a press conference on the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) here yesterday, Ismail Sabri also said permission has also been given for meetings, conferences, seminars, courses or training sessions to be held from July 1.

However, he reminded the public to continue observing the strict standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the authorities.

This would prevent the number of COVID-19 cases in the country from rising again, with new clusters created by the complacent  attitude of the public and failure to abide by the SOP.

Three days ago, the Health Ministry detected a new COVID-19 cluster in Labu Lanjut, Sepang, where five positive cases have been confirmed so far, believed to have been caused by social visits.

Although the number of cases in this cluster is still single digit, it would not be surprising if it rises if the public do not practise self-discipline and social distancing.

In fact, several days ago the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a warning of a ‘new and dangerous phase’ of the pandemic arising from the public’s complacency towards staying indoors and restricting movement while the virus continues to spread.

It must be remembered that we have not won the fight against the disease yet, even though yesterday was the second time there has been no report of its spread among locals, after the first instance on June 9.

The success of breaking the chain of infection depends largely on the public’s efforts as Malaysia can only announce itself free of COVID-19 if there are no new recorded cases for 28 days.


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