Health system has adequate capacity to deal with Covid-19 but public cooperation is required to flatten the curve: Muhyiddin Yassin

we have adequate ventilators, PPE, equipment and medicines. The number of beds in hospitals dedicated to treating Covid 19 patients is also sufficient with the current capacity of use around 29 percent.

Kuala Lumpur Oct6- Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today gave assurance and commitment of the government to continue handling and curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Following is a transcript of his remarks as released by the office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

“In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Peace be upon you, as well as the mercy of Allah and His blessings. I wish you all the best.

1. I closely follow the development of Covid-19 cases at this time. I am sure brothers and sisters as I always get the latest developments on the Covid-19 transmission situation in our country. I broadcast live today via facebook live.

2. From our success in curbing this epidemic to one digit at a time, there has now been an increase in the new daily cases of Covid-19 to reach three digits. This development is of great concern to all of us.

3. As we know, the increase in new cases of Covid 19 is currently related to the cases that occurred in Sabah and Kedah.

4. In the state of Sabah, most of it stems from illegal immigrants from neighboring countries. They are partly positive for Covid 19. When detained in a detention center, they infect other detainees.

5. The virus has also infected detention center staff, their family members and the local community.

6. Similarly in the state of Kedah. The virus is largely spread among prison inmates and there are new clusters in the community. Because of that, the number of those positive Covid 19 has increased dramatically over the past few weeks.

7. I admit that the election campaign in Sabah is also one of the reasons for the increase in Covid-19 cases. The Sabah State Election had to be held when His Excellency the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sabah dissolved the Sabah State Legislative Assembly on 30 July. This is something that is inevitable because we are subject to the provisions in the Constitution. Elections must be held within sixty days after the State Legislative Assembly is dissolved. It cannot be delayed.

8. I am aware that the Malaysian Election Commission has set certain SOPs to ensure that the Covid-19 outbreak does not spread as a result of the election campaign. But unfortunately there are SOPs that are not complied with.

9. For example, social imprisonment. As I went down to campaign in many places, I saw the SOP on social incarceration was a bit less compliant. Although almost all wear face masks, but many still sit close together in a relatively crowded situation.

10. So much so that I had to make my own SOP. I came by car straight to the stage without going through the crowd. As I began to speak, I reminded everyone present to abide by the prescribed SOP. Sit not close, wear face mask and always wash your hands or use sanitizer. After speaking, I immediately got in the car and left the talk. With that, I did not greet or touch anyone.

11. I also reminded my officers not to organize my campaign in the Red Zone area. Despite accepting the invitation, I had to decline nicely. Yes, if included I want to campaign everywhere. But I also think about the health and safety of the people who attend the campaign places, my officials and myself.

12. However, the fact is that there were those who were infected with Covid 19 while in the state of Sabah. This is something that deeply saddens us.

13. The government’s initial action is to improve border control in Sabah by increasing the number of security personnel on duty and arranging the movement of assets such as ships and patrol boats to control the country’s waters.

14. Several districts in Sabah and Kedah have also been declared areas of Targeted Enhanced Movement Control Order to prevent this epidemic from spreading to other places.

15. The government also requires those who come from Sabah to do a screening test when they arrive at the airport. The Ministry of Health staff will also make a risk assessment on each individual who arrives. If found positive, they will be isolated and hospitalized.

16. In addition, the action of detecting, isolating and treating the infected is also doubled.

17. As of yesterday, a total of 18,712 people from 13 clusters in the state of Sabah have been screened with 1,584 people tested positive for Covid-19. In the state of Kedah, a total of 53,097 people from 9 clusters were screened with 888 people found positive.

18. All those found positive were isolated and treated in hospital. Follow-up measures are being carried out to detect and screen close contact of Covid-19 patients who have been identified.

19. I assure you that the effort to detect close contact is now easier than in the early stages of Covid-19 transmission. This is because 17 million Malaysians have used the MySejahtera application. If you count the number of users of this application along with their dependents or spouses, the percentage of people who use the MySejahtera application is estimated to have exceeded 60 percent.

20. This is a positive development in our efforts to cope with this pandemic. We live in a new normal. Using the MySejatera application is one of the new norms that we must cultivate. So I call on the brothers and sisters who have not yet registered with MySejahtera to register immediately.

21. I am also more confident in the readiness of frontline personnel and our country’s health system to curb the spread of this epidemic.

22. I was told by the Director General of Health, Tan Sri Dr Noorhisham, that we have adequate ventilators, PPE, equipment and medicines. The number of beds in hospitals dedicated to treating Covid 19 patients is also sufficient with the current capacity of use around 29 percent.

23. This means that the health system in our country is better prepared now to deal with the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in the community than in the past.

24. We are now better prepared than before in terms of experience and manpower. We know the behavior of the virus better and we have enough facilities and equipments.

25. But we need to break the transmision of the virus and the best way is to stay at home especially in areas where Targeted Control Movement Order is enforced. We must flatten the curve. We did it before and I firmly believe we can do it again.

My dear brothers and sisters,

26. On the issue of quarantine, I would like to emphasize that there is no double standard in complying with quarantine instructions. I myself am currently undergoing quarantine at home after I chaired a meeting attended by a Covid-19-certified Minister. This is an SOP set by the Ministry of Health Malaysia.

27. As Prime Minister I am no exception to being subject to the SOP. This is the second time I have undergone quarantine at home since the Covid-19 pandemic hit our country. I must obey the rules.

28. Along with me who are required to undergo quarantine at home are 7 Ministers and 6 Deputy Ministers. All of them are no exception to obeying the quarantine instructions. They must abide by the rules and action can be taken if they disobey.

29. Covid 19 does not know rank or degree. The virus can infect anyone and therefore the SOP set by the authorities must be complied with by everyone.

30. In any case we can not be complacent. I expect Covid-19 cases to increase in the near future. This is because the Ministry of Health is conducting screening tests more aggressively, including in prisons and detention centers. Since a few weeks

In the past, positive cases among prisoners in prisons contributed to the large increase in the number of Covid-19 patients in our country.

31. As Head of Government, I closely monitor the development of Covid-19 cases. I will make important decisions to curb this virus from continuing to spread in our society. This includes implementing the Targeted Tightened Movement Control Order or TEMCO in areas identified as red zones.

32. While in quarantine, I held a daily video conference with Ministers and senior government officials to manage Covid-19. This is my priority at the moment. This is the new norm we often talk about.

33. The important thing is that we must be together in facing difficult situations at this time. I hope you do not easily panic or make your own conclusions about the situation we are all facing. Avoid spreading false news that can confuse us.

34. Decisions made by the government especially through the National Security Council Special Session on Covid-19 Management are based on data and facts collected through authoritative sources.

35. I know many out there who want to give an opinion to the government on the management of Covid-19 because you all care. Someone sent me a personal message. There are also those who make comments on social media.

36. I very much welcome the views of my brothers and sisters. Everything I pay attention to. Any good views we discuss at the Special Session of the National Security Council. The government is constantly listening and improving as well as receiving reprimands in dealing with the Covid-19 epidemic.

37. The important thing is that we do not easily point the finger at finding fault with any party. I know there are parties who deliberately nod in the murky waters at this time by politicizing the problems that the country is facing. Let’s not care about them. We must focus on efforts to address this pandemic together.

38. To this day we do not think about implementing the Movement Control Order nationwide or total lockdown. This move, if implemented again, could have a major impact which is feared to destroy the country’s social and economic system, na’uzubillah. What the government will do is implement a Targeted Tightened Movement Control Order in areas identified as having high Covid-19 cases.

39. With this, economic and social activities in other unaffected areas can be continued with strict SOP practices and strict law enforcement. I believe that the readiness of our health system will enable us to deal with the spread of Covid 19 without having to cover the economic sectors we have done before.

40. So far, the economic recovery process is running smoothly. Whatever decision is taken, it is necessary to take into account the interests of our 15 million people who go out to work. This is important to ensure the survival of the people and the economic stability of the country.

41. I know many parents are worried about their children attending school. So far the government has decided to close schools in the red zone area. The areas with the red zone are Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Putatan, Tawau, Lahad Datu, Kunak and Semporna, Sabah. The Malaysian Ministry of Education is constantly monitoring the situation of COVID cases in schools nationwide. If there is any case of COVID-19 involving school people, KPM will work closely with the Ministry of Health Malaysia in dealing with it. In this regard, the Ministry of Health will inform the Ministry of Education the steps that need to be taken to ensure the health and safety of students, teachers and school staff.

42. If necessary, a decision on the closure of schools nationwide will be made at the Special Security Council Council on COVID-19 Management Session after receiving advice from the Ministry of Health Malaysia.

43. If there is a need to restrict cross-state movement, the Special Session of the National Security Council will discuss and decide on it. I guarantee that adequate notice will be given to the public before any decision is made so that no one is stranded.

44. I was told that the NSC meeting chaired by Dato ‘Seri Ismail Sabri, Senior Minister of Defense this morning had decided to restrict the movement between Sabah and the Peninsula, Sarawak and Labuan which will take effect from tomorrow. After discussing with Dato ‘Seri Ismail Sabri, I have decided to give more time before this restriction is done. I made this decision to avoid many passengers who will be stranded due to time constraints to make changes to their itinerary. The new date of movement restrictions between the states of Sabah and the Peninsula, Sarawak and Labuan will be effective from 12 October 2020, at 12.01 midnight to 25 October 2020.

45. The government is also looking into proposals to limit councils and gatherings to reduce the likelihood of a Covid-19 outbreak. These include large conferences, weddings and public gatherings. However, the government will get input from the MOH first before implementing it including the proposal to hold additional SOPs if necessary.

46. ​​What is really needed at the moment is that we must all abide by the SOPs and instructions issued by the government. Frontline staff from enforcement agencies will be deployed back to public places to ensure compliance. If anyone violates the law, compound and other punishments will be imposed regardless of rank and degree. Sorry if this Abah started using rattan!

47. Let us face the war against Covid-19 together. Remember, we have managed to hit the Covid-19 infection curve before. I am confident and believe we will be able to tackle it together again. InsyaAllah, we pray that we will all win in the end.

Wabillahi al-taufiq wal hidayah wassalamuálaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.”