MCO: 80,000 students staying in hostels are uncertain of going back home 

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PUTRAJAYA: 80,000 students staying at universities` hostels and campuses during the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) have slim chance to go back home to see their families, even though the third phase ends April 28.

Defence Minister and Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said, since a big number of students are involved, the Ministry of Health has to look at the effect of COVID-19 not only on the students but  the people living around them too.

“This is more important for students who live in Sabah and Sarawak. Even though the number of COVID-19 positive is reducing now but if not properly monitored the number could be increased in due time.

“The government will let the Ministry of Health to study the case carefully and whatever is their plan, we will follow it,” said Ismail in a press conference here today.

Ismail said, the ministers’ meeting this morning has made such decision following the proposal forwarded by the Ministry of Higher Education on the situation of students staying in campus or private houses during MCO effective March 18 and now extended until April 28.

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In another development, Ismail stressed that the police will take stricter action on people who does not comply with MCO in the third phase starting on April 15.

“Those stubborn people will be detained and charged under Section 24 (342) Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988. For first offence the sentence will be two years imprisonment or fined or both while second offence, imprisonment for not more than 5 years or both,” added Ismail.

For those who fail to cooperate with the civil servants including the Ministry of Health’s staff like doctors and nurses could be jailed for 2 years or maximum fined of RM10, 000 or both.

Ismail also reported about Malaysians stranded overseas. Currently 80 people have been brought back from Saudi with the cooperation of the Saudi Arabia government while 285 from Egypt have also come back. Meanwhile 81 Malaysians from India and Sri Lanka is scheduled to come back on April 14.

Meanwhile, 355 Malaysians in Algeria and Tunisia will be flown back to Malaysia with the sponsorships of the Japan Oil Corporation.

Regarding the permission to allow hair salons to operate during the third phase of MCO effective April 15, Ismail said, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) will study the public opinion that says in the United States of America (USA) a new COVID-19 cluster has developed in hair salons.

Ismail said that when responding to a question on the situation in USA relating to hair salons and COVID-19.

According to police reports said Ismail, 1,095 individuals have been detained in which 815 have been compounded with RM1, 000, 242 have been remanded and 38 on police bails. From March 18 until April 10, the accumulated total of detention is 7,759. –Malaysia World News


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