Coronavirus Countries tighten measures - Malaysia

Four Malaysia states to lift curbs; Kelantan under lockdown

Kelantan police chief Shafien Mamat (second from left) advising a motorist to adhere to the conditional movement control order during his walkabout at roadblocks set up in Pulai Chondong in Kelantan yesterday.
Kelantan police chief Shafien Mamat (second from left) advising a motorist to adhere to the conditional movement control order during his walkabout at roadblocks set up in Pulai Chondong in Kelantan yesterday.PHOTO: BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA • The Malaysian government will lift the conditional movement control order (CMCO) on four states, but has put Kelantan under lockdown and announced that all foreign workers in select regions will have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 tests.

Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said a CMCO was imposed on Kelantan from yesterday due to a hike in Covid-19 cases.

This comes after the Mengketil cluster in the state recorded 41 cases across multiple districts.

He also said the CMCO would end in Kedah, Melaka, Terengganu and Johor from today, earlier than the initially set date of Dec 6.

Malaysia on Nov 9 expanded CMCO to nine of its 13 states after a spike in coronavirus cases.

Yesterday, the country recorded 1,041 new infections, bringing the total to 53,679.

It also reported three more Covid-19-related deaths, which pushed the death toll to 332.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri also announced that foreign workers in Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur and the island of Labuan in all sectors and industries are to undergo compulsory Covid-19 tests.

The order does not cover domestic workers such as maids.

The Senior Minister said this would be phase one of the policy to compel foreign workers to be tested, following an increase in the number of cases among them.

He said the National Security Council (MKN) decided on this at a meeting on Friday following a proposal tabled by the Human Resources Ministry.

"After listening to the proposal and on the advice of the Health Ministry, the special meeting agreed to make it compulsory for foreign workers in these states as well as Kuala Lumpur and Labuan to undergo RTK-antigen (rapid test kit-antigen) swab tests," he said.

He did not say when the mandatory testing of foreign workers would take effect.

The MKN special meeting was told that as at Oct 31, there were 1,615,83 foreign workers in Malaysia.

Mr Ismail Sabri said the foreign workers will be tested at their workplaces and construction sites.

The RTK-antigen test would be used as it can return results faster.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 22, 2020, with the headline 'Four states to lift curbs; Kelantan under lockdown'. Print Edition | Subscribe