PUTRAJAYA: About 10 million masks will be imported from China and will be distributed to all Malaysians who need it, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced today.
He said this decision was made during a National Security Council (NSC) meeting yesterday and he had instructed the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) to use its allocation provided by the government to fund this.
“The price for one mask is about RM1.18 sen each and when the masks arrive, I'd like to announce that they will be distributed for free to all Malaysians who need it.
“In light of this crisis, this is the government’s contribution to all,” he told a press conference at the Perdana Putra building, here.
On local vendors increasing the prices of masks price, Muhyiddin said he had spoken to NSC members, including Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri for them to cooperate with Domestic Trade and Consumerism Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi.
Muhyiddin said the instruction given was for them to discuss with mask manufacturers to ensure that the price would not be simply increased during the current Covid-19 crisis.
However, Muhyiddin also pointed out that several mask-producing factories were currently unable to get raw materials for the masks.
“Hopefully, the factories can resolve the lack of raw material issue as well as ensuring that there will be enough stock and to sell the masks at a reasonable price as announced before.
“I have been informed that they usually produce two to three million masks a month and if this can continue, we will have more than enough masks in the country.
“There will be no export of masks from Malaysia. It is totally banned,” he said.
When asked about the possibility of extending the Movement Control Order (MCO), Muhyiddin said the matter would have to be reviewed and discussed first by the government as well as relevant authorities and agencies.
Based on reports given to him, Muhyiddin said about 90 per cent Malaysians were adhering to the MCO while calling for others to minimise their movement on a daily basis.
“If there are any improvements in terms of the actions taken by the Health Ministry, other agencies as well as cooperation by the Tabligh group consisting of those who have yet to do a medical check-up, I’m sure the MCO will show more positive effects.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and the data. Before the MCO period ends, the NSC will hold a meeting to discuss this.
“If there is a need to extend the period by one week or two weeks, we would do that after comprehensive reviews of data and information.”