PUTRAJAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today that, given his way, he would have given health a priority and enforced a second total lockdown instead of the conditional one now imposed on some states.
However, he said a full movement control order (MCO) like the one introduced on March 18, would be impossible to carry out now because of the severe impact on the people’s livelihoods.
Speaking at his daily Covid-19 briefing today, Noor Hisham said a two-week lockdown, with everyone told to stay home, would have been preferable and would be capable of breaking the chain of infection.
“But its impact is very costly. We have to balance it out with the conditional MCO (CMCO).” He said the conditional lockdown “has worked well so far, but it takes a longer time to take effect”.
He said the health ministry was looking into increased public health activities in the next two weeks to bring down the infection rate.
Noor Hisham also said the ministry was currently monitoring the Covid-19 situation in Kedah, Terengganu and Johor to see if the CMCO in the three states could be lifted earlier.
He said if the developments were satisfactory, the ministry would consider returning these states to the recovery MCO (RMCO) and increase public health intervention to further protect green zones from infection.
Damanlela cases only among foreign workers
Commenting on the surge of cases in the Damanlela construction site cluster in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, Noor Hisham said the spike was a result of infections among foreign workers at the site.
The index case was a foreign worker who tested positive from a screening after being arrested by the police. Following this, screenings at the patient’s workplace revealed more cases, which led to the halt of all site operations from Nov 7.
“Those who were infected have been brought to the hospital and those exposed to the positive cases have been placed in quarantine centres.
“The virus is not in the community yet; it is among construction site workers. Active case detection has been done and we will continue to do screenings. Hopefully, we will contain the infection as soon as possible.”
He called on employers to conduct multiple screenings and Covid-19 tests for their staff in order to prevent further workplace clusters.
Source : FMT