SERDANG, April 3 -- There is no problem allowing an individual to travel more than 10 kilometres during the Movement Control Order (MCO) if health services such as clinics and hospitals exceed the distance, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
He said, although the new rule was issued by the Attorney General's Chambers recently, a certain flexibility was allowed by the government.
"We have flexibility especially for those seeking treatment ... so there is no problem for them (the patients) actually...they just have to tell (the police) that they need to do something for their health (see the doctor)," he said.
He said this at a press conference after visiting the Quarantine and Treatment Centre for Low Risk COVID-19 cases at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park (MAEPS) here today.
The Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020, effective from April 1 to April 14, set a limit on individual trips away from the house during MCO for purposes which were allowed within a radius of not more than 10 kilometres (km) ) from home.
According to the regulation, made under subsection 11 (2) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342), such person may not be accompanied by anyone except with an acceptable reason.
In the meantime, he said 40 hospitals nationwide had been gazetted as COVID-19 treatment hospitals to treat those, until to date, 3,116 positive cases.
To date, he said almost 40 per cent of the capacity of the COVID-19 hospitals had been utilised of which 6,917 hospital beds had also been gazetted for COVID-19 patients.
"There are 410 beds in the intensive care unit (ICU) and 634 ventilators are available," he said.
It is understood that the Quarantine and Treatment Centre for Low Risk COVID-19 at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park (MAEPS) which would house 604 stable COVID-19 patients with no symptoms or light symptoms, would likely be operational three weeks from now.
"Anything can happen, as such the government is contemplating the future. The preparations we make fulfill the need to mitigate the outbreak," he said.
Dr Adham also said that patients around the Klang Valley, Negeri Sembilan or Perak could also be transferred to the centre to continue their treatment and observation until complete recovery.
"In this way, COVID-19 patients whose conditions require it will be able to continue to be warded and treated in COVID-19 hospitals," he said.
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