KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — The decision on whether the movement control order (MCO) will be extended is based on advice from the Ministry of Health (MOH), Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

As of now, Ismail Sabri said there has been no advice from MOH.

“Whether or not the MCO will be extended is based on MOH’s advice.

“So far, there is no advice and we didn’t discuss this during the daily special meeting with ministers.

“I’m not sure what’s next. Let’s leave it to MOH,” Ismail Sabri told reporters during his daily press briefing in Putrajaya today.

Once MOH has issued its advice, Ismail Sabri said the government will proceed with an announcement.

He was responding to a reporter’s question on whether the MCO will be extended beyond April 14.

“As long as there is no announcement, the MCO will continue until April 14.

“I cannot comment on this because it is up to MOH,” he added.

Earlier today, Bernama reported that a large number of Malaysians want the MCO extended, deeming it necessary to contain the spread of Covid-19.

A survey conducted by the national news wire agency, which ran across its social media platforms for two days from April 7, revealed that the majority of respondents strongly agreed that the MCO should be extended beyond April 14.

Commenting on a related matter, Ismail Sabri said the government is prepared should the MCO be extended.

“We are talking about ‘if’ the MCO is extended, there is readiness.

“But even if we talk about post-MCO, like what was mentioned earlier, certain SOPs (standard operating procedures) still need to be followed,” he said.

Ismail Sabri reminded that, as advised by the government earlier, even with the MCO lifted, it does not mean that the public can return to attending mass gatherings.

“Even suggestions of convocation ceremonies, they are not allowed.

“As long as it is an activity that has mass attendance, it is not allowed.

“But let’s cross the bridge first, and then only I can comment on this,” he said, referring to a reporter’s question on the extension of MCO.

Malaysia is currently in the second phase of the MCO, which started from April 1 to 14, following the first phase which ran from March 18 to March 31.

Previously, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had warned that the country might not be able to cope if an exponential spike in cases — such as a 2,500 jump — takes place.

The government is expected to announce its decision on whether a further extension of the MCO will be enforced tomorrow.