PM: Malaysia cannot afford to go under constant lockdowns

KUALA LUMPUR: The government's approach in managing Covid-19 would reduce the risk of infection, and also give room for recovery in the public healthcare system.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said while it was a challenge for him to ensure a balance between lives and livelihoods, the country could not afford to go under constant lockdowns.

"This is a strategy that we've undertaken, and to say that it is not completely successful is correct, but to say that it is not at all effective is also not right.

"We cannot reopen (all sectors), we also cannot close all of them, and we also cannot just handle Covid-19 without intervention measures.

"So there must be a balance. Some economic activities can operate, but at the same time the focus on Covid-19 is still there," he said in a special media interview in Putrajaya, today.

He said in the current Covid-19 situation, the coronavirus is no longer just within clusters, but was already within the community, so the government must take a different approach to manage it.

The measures that the government had taken, he added, was to implement movement restrictions in areas with high cases and give a certain degree of freedom to areas with a lesser number of infection.

Data and science, he said, were the basis of the government's considerations before making any decision.

"We also look at it in terms of the data and science, not just by following what people say or following our emotions.

"So I hope that everyone would understand that we still need to implement (measures) selectively, according to the basis of needs and so on."

Muhyiddin said in the Movement Control Order (MCO) 1.0 last year, cases saw a decline, especially when everyone stayed at home, and most economic activities, including factories, were not allowed to operate.

"We saw how effective that lockdown was. But how long can we continue to be in lockdown? Everyone is already fed up (meluat).

"So our approach now is to only enforce lockdowns in certain areas," he added.

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