BATU PAHAT, Feb 8 — The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) has assured that there will be no total lockdown of the economic and industrial sectors if Covid-19 cases in the country were to increase significantly.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the previous closure of the economic sectors has had a huge impact on the economy, especially on the people, causing 826,000 people to lose their jobs in the first three months of the total lockdown in 2020.

“When a person loses his job it involves one family and one family may involve four or five persons… and if the (total) lockdown were to continue it will leave about five million Malaysians without any income.

“We can’t do it anymore (total lockdown)…yes, we need to manage this pandemic effectively, we will do our best on the health matter but ‘economic health’ is also important.

“And we will now do it in a balanced way if there is a sudden spike (Covid-19),” he told reporters after attending the Chinese New Year dinner hosted by the Batu Pahat Chinese Chamber of Commerce here, last night.

Mohamed Azmin said Miti will take a targeted approach by closing only the industries affected and focus on getting the employees vaccinated.

He said that was the reason why the Covid-19 Public-Private Partnership (Pikas) Industrial Immunisation Programme was implemented as Miti did not want the industries to close.

“If the industries were to close, the country’s economy will continue to contract. Through Pikas, we have managed to vaccinate almost two million people,” he said.

He said the initiatives were taken because the workers in the industrial and manufacturing sectors were at higher risks than other sectors, which could still embrace the work from home option. — Bernama