There will be no leniency in the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO), despite the seemingly downward trend of COVID-19 cases in the country, Ismail Sabri Yaakob warned today.

In a press conference today, the defence minister said the current stringent measures will continue to be applied as long as the MCO is in force.

The MCO, which is currently in its third phase, is in force until April 28.

Ismail cited the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in countries which had initially eased restrictions after seeing a dowturn.

"I believe that many feel that the restrictions should be eased. As long as the MCO is not over, as long as no new SOP (standard operating procedure) is introduced by the government, the existing rules and SOPs are maintained.

"Everyone has the responsibility to adhere to the MCO. Police will act against anyone who violate the MCO," the minister warned.

Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced that there were 36 COVID-19 cases recorded yesterday, with no deaths - the first time since March 20.

Yesterday was also the fourth consecutive day of the country recording double-digit cases daily, compared to a hundred plus cases recorded daily for the past month or so.

Meanwhile, Ismail said the government is also considering to allow university students to return to their hometowns, but stressed that doing this would need adherence to strict SOP.

The Higher Education Ministry and Health Ministry will work together to draw up a detailed SOP on this, he added.

This is to ensure the exodus of about 100,000 students from their campuses to their hometowns does not cause congestions and the spread of COVID-19.

Source: Malaysiakini, NST
Photo source: Astro Awani