Ismail Sabri: PM announcement Monday on tighter Covid-19 SOPs

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya April 10, 2020. — Bernama pic
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya April 10, 2020. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is expected to make an announcement on new and tightened standard operating procedures (SOP) in response to the spike in Covid-19 infections next week.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, during his non-health press conference, said Muhyiddin would be making the announcement of the updated SOPs soon, following discussions during their meeting with the National Security Council (NSC).

“This includes considering tighter SOPs, especially those involving the social sector to reduce movement and at the same time reduce the number of Covid-19 infections.

“We are aware everyone is anticipating something to be announced and God willing the long-awaited announcement will be made by the Prime Minister on Monday.

“So let’s wait for what he has to say and announce and we in the meantime can prepare for the announcement,” he said without elaborating further.

This comes following rumours of a movement control order potentially being reinforced with Covid-19 new infections constantly recording four-digit numbers, with a record 3,021 new infections recorded on Thursday.

Later when pressed on what steps are being studied and considered by the government, Ismail again refused to divulge more information other than to wait for Muhyiddin’s impending announcement.

He did assure Malaysians the government is aware of all their grouses, with the SOPs needing further fine tuning to be able to balance the mitigating actions to address the health hazards while working around the economic effects of a potential lockdown.

He said these when questioned on the possible steps being taken by the government to address the increasing number of Covid-19 infections in response to the projection by Health Ministry Director General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah that Malaysia could see 8,000 new daily infections as early as March if the situation does not improve.

“We (the government) have discussed and heard reports from all the ministries, including the Health Ministry, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and even the Ministry of Finance.

“So we are studying and preparing SOPs so that when we announce it everyone can prepare for it.

“There are some who want tightened SOPs, while there are those who are afraid these tight SOPs will negatively affect their businesses.

“So it is for these reasons we have to discuss in detail when drafting these SOPs, so let us just wait for Monday to see what will be announced by the Prime Minister,” he said.

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