Those who violate the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place to curb the COVID-19 pandemic can be fined up to RM10,000, from March 11.

This according to a government gazette uploaded recently to the official online portal of the Attorney-General's Chambers, reported Bernama.

According to the Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, companies or corporations which violate the SOPs can also be fined up to RM50,000.

The amendments to the ordinance also stipulate that anyone who commits an offence under the Act "for which no penalty is expressly provided", may be fined up to RM100,000, or jailed for up to seven years.

In addition, COVID-19 patients or their close contacts may also be ordered to wear tracking devices such as wristbands or other devices, by the relevant authorities, and anyone who destroys, damages, removes or alters the said device would be deemed as having committed an offence.

Meanwhile, the police has warned that they will open investigation paper against any individual who spread fake news regarding the COVID-19 vaccination.

In a statement, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said that the case would be investigated under Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1988.

Malaysia on Wednesday kicked off the national COVID-19 immunization program, with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, and Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah becoming among the first to receive their jabs.

The immunization drive will happen in three phases - beginning with medical and non-medical frontliners receiving their jabs from February to April.

The second phase from April until August will cover senior citizens aged over 65 years old and other high-risk groups, while the final phase, from May until February next year, is targeted at the general adult population aged 18 and above.

As of yesterday, there have been 293,698 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, and 1,100 deaths.

The global infection and death tally from the coronavirus has surpassed 113.5 million, and 2.51 million, respectively.

Source: Bernama
Photo source: Astro Awani