KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has emphasised that the government will not rush into reopening the country’s borders.
He said that, on the contrary, border controls would be tightened, including increasing efforts to check the entrance of illegal immigrants, to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The Prime Minister said that although the tighter border controls would pose a bit of difficulty, especially for Malaysians with dealings overseas, such strict action needed to be taken to protect the country and its people from the deadly virus.
“We must strike a fine balance between protecting lives and livelihoods of all Malaysians,” he said in a special address to the nation on the current COVID-19 situation in the country today.
The country’s borders are still closed except for business purposes, including for investment and education, with strict compliance of stipulated standard operating procedures (SOPs).
The Prime Minister announced that a total of 1,017 foreign visitors to the country tested positive for COVID-19 from April 3 to Sept 15.
He said that the COVID-19 situation in other countries showed that some nations were now facing a new wave of infections.
He stressed that the same thing could happen in Malaysia if the people became complacent and looked down on the situation globally.
Muhyiddin said that apart from actions taken by the government, the practice of new norms among the people was the most important factor in efforts to break the chain of infection.
“I hope we all continue to be strong, resilient and disciplined in facing the pandemic. Remind ourselves to continue to cultivate these new norms in our daily lives,” he said.