Health D-G: Travel restrictions to remain even after MCO lifted to protect border control

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah giving a press conference on Covid-19 in Putrajaya April 23, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah giving a press conference on Covid-19 in Putrajaya April 23, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — Travel restrictions imposed on Malaysians may continue to remain in effect even after the movement control order (MCO) enforced nationwide is eventually lifted, Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

Stressing the need to tighten Malaysia’s border control, Dr Noor Hisham attributed the success of such measures to the number of imported Covid-19 cases reported in the country to date.

“I think that is the most important... in terms of border control. I think if you look into imported cases, the success [of controlling Covid-19 cases] is basically border control.

“We need to tighten our border control, especially if we look into more cases identified in other countries,” he said in his daily Covid-19 press briefing here.

He was responding to a question on whether travel restrictions should be prolonged for several months after the MCO is lifted in the future.

On the easing of the MCO, Dr Noor Hisham said such measures could be implemented based on an economic point of view.

“The easing of restrictions, maybe we are looking into economics, in terms of whether we can allow the economic sector to take off, first whereby social and education sectors would have to wait a little bit longer,” he said.

He also said an eventual exit strategy must be implementable before reiterating that Malaysians must continue to embrace the ‘new norm’ in the next couple of months as the MCO cannot be lifted in its entirety.

Earlier today, Dr Noor Hisham reported 71 new Covid-19 patients including two more Covid-19 deaths.

Of the 71 new cases reported, 52 of them were local transmissions while the remaining 19 cases are imported.

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