Malaysian PM Announces 4 Phases of National Recovery, Starting with Lockdown

UMMATIMES - Malaysia has four phases of national recovery, in which the easing of restrictions will be carried out gradually, said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in a special speech, Tuesday (15/6/2021).

Reported by Today Online, progress to the next phase of recovery will depend on three indicators, namely:

- daily number of Covid-19 cases
- capacity of the health care system, including available beds in the intensive care unit (ICU)
- the percentage of the population who have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

The 4 phases of national recovery include:

Phase One: Lockdown or Movement Control Order (MCO).

Malaysia is currently undergoing its third nationwide lockdown to curb the latest spike in COVID-19. In his speech, Muhyiddin described the lockdown as the first stage of the recovery plan.

Phase Two: begins when the average number of new Covid-19 infections falls below 4,000. 

The health care system should also not be at a critical stage, and 10% of the population should be vaccinated. "Under Phase Two, movement controls will still be tight but economic activity can reopen gradually with 80 percent of the workforce on site," Muhyiddin said.

"However, interstate travel and social activities will remain prohibited," he added. This phase is expected to occur in July and August.

Phase Three: begins when the average number of new Covid-19 infections falls below 2,000 per day. 

The ICU bed capacity has definitely been reduced and the healthcare system is at a "comfortable" stage. At least 40 percent of the population must be vaccinated.

Under Phase Three, all economic sectors (other than those on the high-risk list) will reopen with 80 percent employment capacity.

"Consideration of increasing the capacity of the workforce could be given to enable the company to operate fully, as long as all workers have been vaccinated," said Muhyiddin. Social activities, including education and sports, will also gradually reopen.

Phase Four: begins once there are fewer than 500 daily Covid-19 cases, and at least 60 percent of the population is vaccinated. 

Muhyiddin said the government aims to start Phase Four after October, once the above indicators are achieved.

In this final phase, all economic sectors will be fully reopened. Meanwhile, social activities, interstate travel and domestic tourism will be permitted under strict standard operating procedures (SOPs).

However, the prime minister added that this plan is "dynamic" and depends on key indicators. He said the National Security Council will issue detailed SOPs for each phase