In a letter issued by the EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Eurocham Malaysia) to its members, an economic shutdown is set to be announced by the government if the nation’s COVID-19 cases fail to reduce by the end of MCO 2.0 on February 4th.
Authenticated by a source linked to the organization and Malay Mail, the letter describes a meeting by Eurocham Malaysia chief executive, Sven Schneider, with the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI). It states that the Ministry of Health (MoH) “ has made a clear stand on the matter of a complete shutdown of the economy”.
“Should the infection rate not decrease, the Malaysian government will announce a shutdown/strict lockdown immediately after February 4, 2021. This is the current situation we are facing and Miti is appealing to all companies, foreign and local, to join the effort of reducing infections, breaking the chain, to keep the economy open for business,” it mentioned further.
Schneider was to attend a the “very important and urgent meeting” at MITI on January 22nd that was chaired by the ministry’s secretary-general! Lokman Hakim Ali.
The letter also mentioned of the MOH’s belief of the manufacturing sector being the main source of infection.
“Since in particular, dormitories and related activities (transportation, social activities) were identified as problems, while manufacturing sites itself usually demonstrate sufficient compliance, Miti brainstormed together with the present chambers of commerce a few potential measures.
“While we are awaiting more information from the Ministry and since time is of the essence, we share the preliminary outcomes here with you,” the letter said.
It also urged companies to assign basic measures to curb the rise in cases, especially in the dormitories.
“Companies are requested to establish basic quarantine spaces at their dormitories to ensure that suspected cases, close contacts and confirmed Covid-19 cases can be isolated/quarantined immediately and reduce risk of further spread. Any immediate and short-term measures are welcomed to reduce infections,” the organisation said.
The dreaded daily cases record was again broken yesterday, this time with the number going up as high as 4,275 in a single day. Daily recoveries on the other hand have also reached a new high, with a reported 4,131.
Selangor and Sabah continue to top the nation’s cases while total number of active cases stands at 42,769 and confirmed cases at 180,455.