World

Malaysian PM details four-phase pandemic exit plan

With current lockdown as first phase, second phase will start when daily infections fall below 4,000

PETALING JAYA : In a special address yesterday, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin detailed the country's pandemic exit plan.

He said there are four phases for the National Recovery Plan, and that phase two - the current lockdown in force since June 1 is the first phase - would see a slight reopening of the economy.

Phase two will begin once daily Covid-19 cases fall below 4,000 and 10 per cent of the population have received both doses of the vaccine.

"Phase two is a continuation from phase one where social activities and restrictions on movement are controlled," he said.

He said interstate travel and social activities would still not be allowed during phase two.

Mr Muhyiddin said in phase two, certain sectors will be allowed to operate.

Among these are the manufacturing industry such as cement production, to ensure continuity of permitted construction works, as well as the sale of electronic items and computers for those who work from home.

The government will consider moving on to phase three where all economic sectors can reopen - except for high-risk activities - if the country manages to lower the number of daily cases to below 2,000, he said.

THRESHOLD

Mr Muhyiddin said this phase will also be considered when the national healthcare system reaches a level where intensive care units are able to function at adequate levels and where 40 per cent of the country's population have received both doses of the vaccine.

"This threshold is expected to be reached at the earliest by the end of August," he said.

Mr Muhyiddin said the country would enter phase four, the final phase, once daily virus cases dip below 500 and 60 per cent of the population have been fully vaccinated.

He said based on estimates of the implementation of the immunisation plan, this can be achieved as early as the end of October.

Mr Muhyiddin said phase four is where life will return to normal.

He said: "All economic sectors will be opened and more social activities will be allowed. Interstate travel will be allowed and domestic travel will be open subject to strict SOPs (curbs)."

He also said Parliament will reconvene in September or October, subject to strict curbs.

He said: "This has always been my stand from the start - that the parliamentary democracy system can function once Covid-19 cases are under control and we achieve herd immunity status." - THE STAR

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