PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The standard operating procedure (SOP) for several businesses and social activities in Malaysia will be presented to the special Cabinet committee over the weekend, an indication that these activities may resume soon.
It will be a busy Saturday (June 6) for the committee, which will hear, among other things, the proposed SOP for barber shops as well as hair and beauty salons.
Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the committee will also be hearing presentations on SOP for pasar malam, or night markets, as well as farmers' markets.
"We will also be looking at the SOP for solat jemaah (congregational prayers). For instance, if the mosque is large, it can probably take in 100 congregants for prayers with the 1m social distancing policy.
"The respective ministries will be presenting the procedures and we will decide from there," he said in his daily briefing on Tuesday.
Businesses such as barber shops and hairdressing salons, which have been closed since March 18, have yet to be given the go-ahead to resume operations, even though the government has allowed most economic and social activities to resume under the conditional movement control order (MCO).
Meanwhile the government has said school reopening management guidelines will be distributed on Thursday to allow schools and teachers to make the appropriate preparations.
Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said that detailed guidelines for the movement of students in the school compound, from the time they arrive until they leave for home, were formulated in collaboration with the Health Ministry and the National Security Council (MKN).
“We issued these guidelines to see which methods need to be done in the context of school reopening and proper preparations to ensure that whenever we announce the date, they will be ready,” he told told national news agency Bernama on Tuesday.
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri said on Wednesday that as of date, teachers have yet to be instructed to return to their duties, and schools have yet to be reopened.
Childcare centres however have been allowed to resume operations since Tuesday, bringing relief to working parents nationwide.
Mr Ismail Sabri said all 7,000 registered childcare centres in the country were given permission to reopen after the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry tabled a comprehensive SOP for their operations.
On enforcement activity reports, Mr Ismail Sabri said 229 vehicles were ordered to turn back at interstate roadblocks for attempting to cross state borders without permission.
Police conducted 148 roadblocks on June 1 and inspected 283,677 vehicles.
"Police also reported that 33 people were arrested for not complying with the conditional MCO, while 248 individuals were issued with compounds for not following SOP and other regulations under the order," he added.
None of those given compound notices or fines had violated the policy stipulating no Hari Raya Aidilfitri visits.
On another matter, the Senior Minister said that Malaysia has been free of fake news related to Covid-19 over the past week, with the police and the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission not having opened any investigation papers.
"This is a positive scenario, reflecting the people's awareness on the dangers of spreading fake news.
"Perhaps the focus is on other sensational news like politics, but there is no fake news being spread on Covid-19. This is good news and I am happy about this," he said.
To date, 266 investigation papers had been opened by the authorities to investigate claims of fake news on Covid-19.
On the coronavirus-positive cases detected in Sungai Buloh Prison, Mr Ismail Sabri said screening would be conducted on the 600 inmates sharing the same block with the individual who tested positive.
He said tests would also be conducted on all 700 prison staff.
"Swab tests will not be conducted on inmates residing in other blocks.
"This is because there is no interaction or meeting between inmates of different blocks. So there is no need for the rest to be tested," he said.
There are eight separate blocks at the Sungai Buloh Prison.