Government mulls compulsory use of face masks in public areas – PM

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — The government is mulling the idea of making it compulsory to use face masks in all public places as COVID-19 threat still persists, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced.

He said details on the matter would be announced once the relevant regulations have been finalised.

“In this Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) phase, every individual, family and community are frontliners. Each member of the families and the communities must always advise and remind each other (to wear face masks).

“Parents must remind their children to wear face masks when leaving the house, to keep their social distance, to always wash their hands, to avoid congested areas, to not shake hands, and etc,” he said in his special message on the latest development on the RMCO.

The message was broadcast live on Bernama TV, Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), TV3 and Astro Awani.

Muhyiddin also called on employers to monitor their employees and to always remind them to comply with the RMCO standard operating procedures (SOP) in force.

In school, he said all principals, headmasters, teachers, as well as prefects and class monitors, should play more proactive roles by reminding the students to always observe social distancing and to comply with all the SOP set by the Ministry of Education.

“I would also like to remind head of villages, imam, and community leaders to take care of your respective communities. Head of a village, together with the village committee members, for example, can conduct spot checks or regular patrol at the places most frequented by the villagers.

The Prime Minister said he believed that if all quarters played their roles well in breaking the chain of COVID-19 infection, the country will be able to go through the RMCO phase successfully.

He said Malaysia had just witnessed the positive impact of the government’s strict measures and the people’s high level of discipline during the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO), with the economy being revived and the people starting to enjoy their life again by adopting the new normal.

“However, let’s not be careless and negligent. I want to remind everyone again that the COVID-19 is not yet over. So, let’s remain steadfast in maintaining our success in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. I pray that we all will remain well, healthy, and happy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin stressed that the new normal must continue to be embraced.

“We shouldn’t stop wearing face masks in public places just because the number of COVID-19 cases has dropped. Wear it, please. Don’t stop wearing it. Social distancing must also continue to be observed. Make sure we are always one-metre away from other people,” he said.

“Avoid congested and crowded places. Always remember to avoid physical contact.

“I always remind everybody to avoid shaking hands, but now I can see that people are not only exchanging handshakes, but also exchanging hugs, especially among families and relatives,” he said.

“Although such gestures and practice are good for socialising, they are not good in the effort to protect ourselves and the people around us from being infected with COVID-19,” he added.

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