Listed businesses can only operate in ‘green areas’

KUCHING: Santubong MP Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar says the permission to allow certain businesses and services like barber shops to operate is restricted to ‘green areas’ designated by Ministry of Health.

He said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had instructed the formation of a special cabinet committee focused on economy during a cabinet meeting two weeks ago to look into the possibility of opening certain businesses to operate in certain designated areas of the country.

“The committee came up with the report and identified certain businesses, and later after several discussions, it was agreed only to operationalise certain businesses and services in the ‘Covid-19 green areas’ of the country,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“It’s not true that the opening of such businesses and services is meant for the whole country.”

On Friday, Ministry of International Trade and Industry said those sectors allowed to operate during MCO had been expanded to include machinery and equipment, aerospace and science, registered traditional medicine services, barber shops and full-service laundry shop, among others.

Its minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azim Ali said companies in additional sectors listed may submit their application to the ministry’s website starting Monday (April 13), from 9am.

However, they must adhere strictly to health and safety guidelines.

Wan Junaidi added: “Standard operating procedures and protocols will be introduced (for such businesses).

“Strict supervision by the police and army will be conducted. No breach of the detailed standard operating procedures or protocol will be allowed.”

He said the special cabinet committee on economy was mainly concerned with the country’s economy and the effects of MCO on the economy and businesses, in case of a prolonged MCO due to Covid-19.

“There are business communities from all sectors, who are adamant about the sustainability of their businesses. There are also international companies which have invested billions in the country.”

Wan Junaidi said studies by government, banks and institutes have indicated that business collapse and unemployment at an unprecedented level would happen in the next couple of weeks if businesses are not operationalised.

However, he said various protocols or preventive measures such as avoiding gathering, social distancing and contact with one another – under the slogan ‘stay safe, stay at home’ – are required to break the chain of Covid-19 infection.

“There is no known vaccine for coronavirus yet. Our quarantine stations are limited and hospitals capacity have ceiling limit. We cannot afford the situation to be like what is happening in the United States, Italy or Spain.”

He said Malaysia started with the opening of essential services during the first phase of MCO, which included the food industry and supporting service to ensure there is food on the table.

Source: Borneo Post

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