KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia may go back to square one, to the first Movement Control Order (MCO) standard operating procedure (SOP), if the majority of Malaysians, especially those under the mandatory home quarantine order, continue with their irresponsible ‘I-don’t-care’ attitude.
The signs are already there, with the rise in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the country, while recently the 14-day mandatory quarantine order at designated stations for those returning to the country from overseas has been reactivated since Friday.
Worse still, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement yesterday (July 25) that Kuching, Sarawak, has been declared a red zone after 41 new cases.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob also said yesterday the government had agreed in principal to tighten the SOP of the MCO that was earlier relaxed and is expected to make an announcement on it after the ministerial meeting this Monday.
He said this was no surprise because as many as 2,897 individuals under mandatory home quarantine were found to have yet to undergo the COVID-19 13-day screening.
Statistically, the number of new COVID-19 cases yesterday increased to 23 from 21 the day before.
Dr Noor Hisham said this brings the cumulative number of cases to 8,884 and the total figure for infectivity cases to 167.
Two days ago, he said Malaysia may see a surge in the number of new COVID-19 cases soon if the infectivity rate or R-naught (R0) exceeds 1.6.
Voicing his worry, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the current R0 had increased to 1.36 compared to 0.3 during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which ended on June 9.
He said if the R-naught (R0) rises, this means there are many who have been infected. What is dangerous is if the R-naught exceeds 1.6.