Only 17 essential service sectors will be allowed to operate during the impending two-week “total lockdown” says the Malaysian government. All malls however, will have to be shut for the time being. The announcement came out on Sunday, May 30th, two days before the total lockdown starts.
Sectors allowed to operate
Essential service sectors and all public utilities will be open to carry out their daily operations. Banking, healthcare, food and beverage, media, and telecommunications are among those deemed as essential service sectors.
Companies coming under 12 manufacturing sectors will also be allowed by the government to continue operating. Manufacturers of medical devices, food and drink, textiles for producing personal protection equipment as well as oil and gas are some examples.
Only 60 per cent allowed to work
The manufacturing sectors can operate having only 60 percent of its workforce.
Senior Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was present at the televised press conference yesterday. Dato’ Sri Ismail said “We hope the manufacturing sector will follow the government’s orders, because we have given the condition that only 60 per cent could work”.
“But I’ve read social media posts and found employers who forced their employees to exceed the 60 per cent capacity,” said Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri. Employees can report such breaches to the Human Resource Ministry and the police, according to the Senior Minister.
Supermarkets and premises dealing in food and beverage and basic necessities will continue to operate. However, shopping malls will need to close during the total lockdown says Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri.
Starting tomorrow, there is a 10km radius movement limit. Only 2 persons per household can go out to buy essentials. Three persons from a household, including the patient, can go out to seek medical services.
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry also issued a statement. The statement said “The manufacturing and manufacturing related services sectors that are allowed to operate is to ensure minimal disruption to the supply chain of critical parts, components and finished products.“
“This is essential to support the continued operations of critical infrastructures and front-liners such as security, healthcare systems, information and communications and as well as ensure adequate supply of basic necessities for the Rakyat (people).”
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) first announced on Friday that Malaysia would be undergoing a “total lockdown” from Jun 1st to Jun 14th. Sunday’s announcement is a follow up of the PMO’s announcement.
On Saturday, Malaysia’s COVID-19 numbers jumped up to a record 9,020 new cases and 98 deaths. The spike came down on Sunday, with 6,999 new cases. As of now, there are over 560,000 cases nationwide.
Long lines of people
The government assured the people that there will be sufficient food stocks to last throughout Phase 1 of the total lockdown. However, this assurance did not deter the people from rushing out to stock up before the start of the lockdown. According to reports, long lines of people queued up at supermarkets and markets to buy food and necessities.
Health ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah was also at Sunday’s press conference. He warned that a daily increase of 1,000 to 2,000 new cases was possible. Based on the 98 fatalities recorded on Saturday, the high number of deaths might continue or possibly rise further.
“The Health Ministry has warned that a situation might arise where doctors might have to make the difficult choice, to give priority for intensive-care unit (ICU) beds to patients with higher recovery potential, than those with poor prognosis.”
Lockdown action plan
The Health Ministry will implement a five point action plan during the lockdown. The action plan includes the much-needed speeding up of the vaccinations.
31st May 2021 23:00
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