Barbers should wait a little longer to resume operations: Health DG

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry has suggested that sectors like barber shops which are allowed to operate during the third phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO) should temporarily defer their plans to resume business.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry’s call for deferment also covered the Higher Education Ministry’s proposal to allow students of higher learning institutions (IPT) to return to their homes.

“In terms of implementation, (there should be) at least two weeks of postponement, or at least for us to see in this one-week period whether we can contain the spread of Covid-19 in the community.

“Or perhaps we can begin (resumption of operations) in stages ... we cannot straight away go back to normal. We need to plan more carefully to avoid gatherings like in stadiums, bus terminals,” he said at a daily Covid-19 media briefing, here today.

Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry would study the latest data on Covid-19 cases in the first week of phase three MCO before advising the Higher Education Ministry whether to allow the students to go back to their hometowns or not.

“This is also our suggestion to the Higher Education Ministry; as we are entering a critical third phase, we need to tighten the control to reduce the number of cases. We may succeed if the people of Malaysia cooperate with the Health Ministry to ensure that the cases can be reduced.

“Our suggestion and advice to the Higher Education Ministry is to be patient; maybe in one or two weeks,” he added.

Dr Noor Hisham said the preventive measures implemented in MCO phases one and two had shown signs of early success in reducing the infection rate.

He said among the actions taken during this period were border controls, restriction of movements, ban on gatherings and adoption of social distancing.

“Our projections have become increasingly convincing. People say, if we run a 100m race, the last 10m is the most important. If we are running a marathon, the final 10m may also determine our success or failure.

“So we have to be patient in our battle. It is important to practise social distancing, not to gather in public places and to frequently wash our hands.

“The most crucial factor for our success is to stay at home because if more people go out the chances of being infected will increase. It’s a simple concept - stay at home and reduce infection,” he added. - Bernama