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MCO to be tightened further, new procedures to be announced Saturday (Updated)

26 Mar 2020 / 16:01 H.

PETALING JAYA: The government will no longer tolerate those who disregard the directives of the movement control order (MCO).

Senior Minister (Defence) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the authorities have been lenient during the first week of the movement restriction, but that this would no longer be the case.

He said this was to ensure all Malaysians abide by the MCO to ensure the Covid-19 outbreak is contained.

“The National Security Council (NSC) has been tasked to come up with new procedures which are much stricter than what we have enforced and are doing today.

“We are done with our soft approach. The NSC will announce on Saturday, what these new procedures will call for,” he said during a press conference that was telecast live today.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had on Wednesday announced that the MCO, which was initially scheduled to end on March 31, would be extended until April 14.

According to Ismail, just yesterday, 110 arrests were made nationwide against those who deliberately ignored the MCO.

He also pointed out that the compliance rate had continued to remain at 95%, showing no improvement over the last couple of days.

“This means many Malaysians still do not care and continue to disobey orders. In some markets and supermarkets, I was informed that there are still people who do not practice social distancing.

“We do not wish to see the 95% of Malaysians suffering just because of the few stubborn 5%, which is why, beginning yesterday, the police have come on stronger and are more stern,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ismail said respective authorities will begin sanitising and disinfecting public premises, particularly those identified as hotspots, to reduce the risk of infection.

He added that to date, the Covid-19 Fund has managed to collect RM8.1 million, 70% of which he said, would be used to assist those who were most affected financially.

“We will use this money to distribute essential items and food to the poor families and those who fulfil our criteria. We will begin soon,” he said.

Ismail also announced that the government would be giving out free face masks to each and every one of the 8.63 million households in Malaysia soon.

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