MCO till Feb 18, SOP for CNY still not ready

The National Security Council (NSC) is drafting the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Chinese New Year as the Movement Control Order has been extended till Feb 18 nationwide, except Sarawak.

The Chinese community is uncertain if they will be able to host the reunion dinner on the eve (Feb 11) of the Lunar New Year as they welcome the Year of the Metal Ox.

“We are preparing the SOPs for Chinese New Year. It will be announced soon,” Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said during his daily press briefing today.

He also called on the people to be the eyes and ears of enforcement agencies by reporting those who flout the SOPs.

He is aware some people have continued organising social functions and have posted pictures on social media.

“I have also been getting pictures from strangers showing people defying the SOPs. I’ve forwarded these pictures to the police.

“If you do see or come across those who defy the SOPs, please inform the police or local authorities,” he said.

Ismail Sabri also added that the Attorney-General’s Chambers is working to increase penalties for those who breach the SOPs.

“Once approved, an announcement will be made by the minister concerned,” said Ismail Sabri.

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.

PH URGES GOVT TO EXPLAIN VACCINE ROLLOUT PLAN

Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Immunisation Task Force has urged the government to explain to the people the potential impact of the vaccine rollout.

Malaysia is expecting the first shipment of 144,000 Pfizer doses which will be delivered this month and the delivery of 6.4 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine by April.

“The government also has other portfolios of vaccines, including China’s Sinovac vaccines, which have been scheduled for delivery by the first quarter, but they have yet to be approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency which will take 60 to 90 days,” PH said in a statement.

“All these factors will likely cause further delay in the overall timeline for the vaccination programme. With the ever-increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases in our country, the government must clarify its plans and intention to address this change and lay out its alternative plans to manage the spread of Covid-19 while waiting for the vaccines.

“The government must also be proactive in drawing up plans to mitigate the effects of such a delay and come up with a comprehensive plan to better curb the spread of the virus in our country.”

The task force is chaired by former health minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

ADDRESS WORKPLACE CLUSTERS BEFORE ENDING MCO, SAYS HEALTH EXPERT

A top health expert has urged the government to pay close attention to workplace clusters if it plans to end the Movement Control Order and re-open the economy on Feb 5.

Despite the escalating number of Covid-19 cases in the country which saw more than 5,000 cases for three consecutive days since Friday, infectious disease consultant Datuk Dr Christopher Lee acknowledges the economy should inevitably re-open – on condition it is done “safely”.

MALAYSIA, ASEAN MUST ACT OVER MYANMAR UNREST

Malaysia and other Asean countries must take a proactive stand in addressing the conflict in Myanmar as the spillover of the military coup will affect them.

Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights chair Charles Santiago said it would be only natural to see a spike in the number of refugees fleeing Myanmar after the elected government was toppled by the military on Monday.

BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR MYANMAR FOOTBALL DESPITE MILITARY COUP, SAYS AFC

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) remains positive that the military coup in Myanmar will not disrupt the nation’s football scene.

AFC general secretary Datuk Windsor Paul John told Twentytwo13 the regional body has yet to receive any feedback from the Myanmar Football Federation and as such, it’s “business as usual”.

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