Yesterday (14 September), the Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri has explained the government’s decision to reopen 11 economic sectors in states under Phase 1 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).
The 11 economic sectors include car wash, electrical and electronics shops, clothing, fashion and accessories shops, goldsmith shops, barbers, as well as beauty centres and hair salons.
He admits that lockdown is no longer a solution as it is feared that there can have more negative implications on the economy and the mental health of the citizens.
He added that the reopening of the sectors will help speed up economic recovery but also give the people the opportunity to improve their livelihoods.
Nonetheless, he said the decision was made based on the risk assessment by the Ministry of Health (KKM) with strict SOPs.
However, he stressed that people must exercise self-control to maintain discipline. He said the future of our country to be free of Covid-19 lies within our hands and we cannot depend on others.
“Self-control is very important, otherwise our efforts all this time will be in vain.” he said.
On the other hand, the latest data shows that 74.7% of adults in Malaysia have been fully vaccinated with 2 doses of vaccination, while 91.6% of the adult population has received at least their first dose.
Responding to the questions from the Members of Parliament (MP), Ismail said strict SOPs will, however, be imposed at evert business premises.
The decision is made based on the science and data obtained from the 11 economic activities that have already been allowed to operate.
He then made an example with barbershops, where he said many assumed that it is dangerous because of the close contact nature of the business but throughout 2020, there was only one cluster involving barbershops.
He said this is the same for salons and car wash, where there were no clusters involving them.
He explained that supposedly the Bangladeshi workers there are certainly more susceptible to infection but there were no cases involving car wash throughout 2020 too.