PUTRAJAYA,Jan 14: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says the movement control order (MCO) which started today would only last a maximum of four weeks.
In a press conference yesterday, he said this is because the government was aware of the economic impact of the MCO, adding that the Covid-19 chain of infection can be broken if everyone stayed at home for the next two weeks.
“We enforced the conditional MCO from Oct 14 but we felt that it wasn’t suitable. We needed to use a more drastic measure, so we have now imposed the MCO for two weeks or, if necessary, a maximum of four weeks,” he said.
“We don’t want the MCO to be prolonged because of the economic impact, but if everyone can stay home for the next two weeks, God-willing, we can break the chain of infection,” he added.
He also said the government would impose a CMCO after the end of the MCO, expressing hope that the number of daily cases could be reduced to less than 500 a day to lighten the load on the healthcare system.
Through this, Noor Hisham said, the curve of Covid-19 infections could be flattened again by May or June.
“But, of course, that depends on the cooperation between the health ministry, the government and Malaysians. We must unite to break the chain of Covid-19 in our country.”
He said Malaysia’s current trajectory put the infection rate (R0, pronounced R naught) above 1.1, citing how yesterday and today’s cases were above the health ministry’s projections.
He said the current R0 was estimated to be around 1.16 or higher, adding that he hoped the MCO would be able to help flatten the curve.
“What’s more important is that we are on the right track. We hope that everyone can stay home during this time. If you have to go out, remember to follow the SOPs.”