PUTRAJAYA, Nov 20 — The Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) conducts a risk assessment taking into account five factors before recommending the implementation of a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in a certain area, says Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said the factors taken into account were the rate of increase in cases, the distribution of positive cases, population density, the existence of public hotspots and the sociodemographic conditions of the population.
“(For) the rate of increase in cases, MOH takes into account the significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, especially if it occurs in a short period of time.
“The distribution of positive cases includes the distribution of cases in the sub-districts and districts involved and whether it is focused in certain areas such as prisons or temporary detention centres,” he said during his press conference on COVID-19 updates here today.
Dr Noor Hisham said the MOH also took into account the high density of the local population with a large number of housing areas, apartments or squatter houses, as well as the existence of wholesale markets, factories, government offices, and business complexes.
Apart from that, he said the sociodemographics of the local population in terms of the existence of foreign settlements and a lot of movement in an area were also taken into consideration.
“For example, earlier on Nov 9 the CMCO was not implemented in Kelantan (when implemented in several other states), however, taking into account the factors that have been examined under MOH’s risk assessment, there is now a need for CMCO to be implemented in the state,” he said.
Earlier, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Yaakob announced that Kelantan will be subjected to the CMCO from tomorrow until Dec 6 due to the increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the state.
Commenting further, Dr Noor Hisham said on Nov 3, Kelantan only recorded eight positive cases involving three districts but by Nov 19, the number of active cases in the state had increased to 73 and spread to eight out of 10 districts.
Apart from that, he said there were seven active clusters in Kelantan, namely Ikhtisas, Cergas, Kube, Kaya, Mengketil, Simera and Jalan Meru which were still being monitored.
The Mengketil Cluster in particular recorded a sharp increase in cases with 41 reported within five days, he said, adding that the high infectivity rate meant transmissions could have gotten out of hand if the CMCO was not implemented.
“Risk assessments have also been conducted in other states to determine whether the CMCO can be lifted or should be continued.
“Although the CMCO has been lifted in several states, there is a need to extend the period in some districts because the risk assessment shows that the risk of infection is still high in those areas,” he said.