Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today announced that the country’s Movement Control Order (MCO) which ends on June 9, will be replaced with the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) starting from June 10 until August 31 with more relaxed conditions. This includes allowing for domestic tourism and interstate travel, except for areas placed under Enhanced MCO (EMCO). Almost all social, religious, business and educational activities are also allowed to resume in stages under strict SOPs during the RMCO. Schools will also be reopened in stages. We asked experts to comment on this latest development.
Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail, Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Cardiologist, said:
“PM’s announcement on the recovery phase of MCO is the right direction in phased lifting of the MCO. With all the enforced restrictions in the past months, the public has got into a routine that needs to be continued. ‘Istiqamah’ was the word used, meaning consistent with the practice. The responsibility is now with each individual, each family, employers and leaders to prevent the spread of the virus.
“It is timely and the people are ready but we still have a large poorly controlled group of foreigners and migrant workers whose living conditions need to be looked into to prevent more spread. The SOP on reopening of schools need to be fine-tuned before schools are allowed to open.”
Prof Dr Tan Maw Pin, Secretary of the Malaysian Society of Geriatric Medicine, said:
“PM also mentioned that we need to take extra precautions with older people, which means just abiding by SOP alone is not enough for older adults. Older persons are particularly vulnerable and hence should continue to stay away from activities that will increase the risk of infection. They should, however, strive to stay healthy by exercising regularly and maintaining social contact using modern methods of telecommunications.”
Amrahi Buang, President of the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS), said:
“MPS welcomes the PM decision and announcement to impose the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) from 10 June 2020 to 31 August 2020. Malaysians have gone through various levels of movement control – Movement Control Order, Extended Movement Control Order and the Conditional Movement Control Order since 18 March 2020 and have now had the knowledge and experience to carry out the new normal involving proper hygiene, social distancing, wearing of face masks and protecting the vulnerable groups of the geriatrics, individuals with co-morbidities, children, disabled and the indigenous population.
“The Recovery Movement Control Order is the final phase before the exit plan involving the COVID-19 pandemic. Kudos to all the front liners, last line of defence and the public for giving the highest degree of co-operation to the government’s efforts in fighting the pandemic since March 18. The compliance and sacrifices by the mass in the celebration of Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Gawai and Hari Keamaatan during the pandemic proves that Malaysians have the capability to face any national challenges. This is a proud moment for Malaysians.
“In this Recovery Movement Control Order phase, the onus is on the public to continue the new normal, culture and life. Maintaining cleanliness at all times must be inclusive of individuals, homes, community, and the environment. Discipline shall include self-discipline, community discipline and national discipline.
“We have not yet won the war against the COVID-19 pandemic. In the coming weeks and months before 31 August 2020, there will be an exit plan and together we can win this war.”
These experts are part of the Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) which is a coalition of 42 societies and organisations of health professionals aimed at improving healthcare for Malaysians, strengthening the Malaysian healthcare system and supporting health in all policies.
**All previous posts about COVID-19 here: https://sciencemediacentremalaysia.com/tag/covid-19/