Here's How Long Health DG Dr Noor Hisham Reckon It Could Take To Flatten The COVID-19 Curve

It's going to be a long journey.

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Here's How Long Health DG Dr Noor Hisham Reckon It Could Take To Flatten The COVID-19 Curve

It's a long journey.

It seems like déjà vu: Malaysians are yet again confined to their homes as the new Conditional Movement Order (CMO) officially came into effect on Wednesday (13 January).

The authorities are hoping that the new MCO will flatten the COVID-19 curve once and for all.

However, according to the man-in-charge, it will take a while before the curve is completely flattened.

Optimistic projections

Health Director General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah told Malay Mail that the health authorities expect to control the infection rate within this few months.

Dr Noor Hisham added that it's still early to see the effects of the renewed MCO, but the authorities are confident that Malaysia can flatten the curve by May 2021.

He also believed that reintroducing the MCO in several states -- namely the Federal Territories, Penang, Johor, Melaka, Selangor and Sabah -- was the right move.

We can do this, together!
And if you're worried that the new MCO will drag on for several months like the previous one, well, you can breathe a sigh of relief: Dr Noor Hisham disclosed that they do not plan to keep the MCO in place for longer than four weeks.

“With these procedures, we hope we can reduce the curve — based on our projection — by 12 weeks but we will implement two weeks first and see what the developments are in these two weeks and whether there is a need (to extend the MCO) or otherwise, it will depend on the data.

“And our projection is that by May, we can flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases in our country,’’ he was quoted as saying.

SOPs are in place

The new MCO was announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday (11 January), and it will be in effect until 26 January 2021.

On top of the states mentioned above, several states will remain under the conditional MCO: Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan.

Meanwhile, Perlis and Sarawak will return to recovery MCO measures.

Here are the SOPs that we all need to adhere to:

Affected states
Affected states:
 Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor, and Sabah. All three Federal Territories (i.e. Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Labuan).


  • No interstate and interdistrict travels. You can only travel within 10 kilometres of your home for essentials. There will be roadblocks, so don't try to get smart. 
  • No social gatherings including weddings, wedding receptions, conferences, religious processions (including Thaipusam), meetings, seminars, courses, and group sport activities. 
  • Only take away and delivery allowed for food, so hanging out at restaurants isn't an option either.
  • Supermarkets, healthcare services (including clinics, hospitals and pharmacies) and banks are allowed to operate with strict SOP compliance. We didn't see any announcement on shorter operating hours like the previous MCOs. 
  • Only two people per household are allowed to head out to purchase groceries.
  • Only two people from the same household are allowed in a vehicle. 
  • Only five essential economic sectors are allowed to operate, namely manufacturing; construction; service; trade and distribution; and plantations and commodities.
  • Only 30 per cent of workers from a company's management teams are allowed to go in to office; employers to determine number of employees permitted in office at any one time (taking into consideration SOP compliance) 
  • Non-essential services staff to work from home; employers must comply with this ruling.
  • 2020 and 2021 SPM candidates are allowed to attend school with strict SOP. Education Ministry will detail this SOP. Others will continue to learn online.
  • Religious activities in places of worship aren't allowed but a maximum of five mosque/houses of worship committee members are allowed to be at these premises.
  • You can go out for a walk, jog or cycling, but with restrictions. This includes keeping a two-metre distance between each other at all time and doing it solo. 
  • Outdoor recreational activities allowed among people within same household. 


Affected states: Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan

What's different?

  • No interstate travels, but you can go anywhere within the state. 
  • No social gatherings including weddings, wedding receptions, conferences, religious processions (including Thaipusam), meetings, seminars, courses, and group sport activities.
  • Religious activities are allowed but with minimum number of people attending depending on the space to allow physical distancing. Other SOPs applies.
  • Eateries can operate as usual. Dine-in, take away and delivery are allowed. 


Affected states: Perlis and Sarawak

For these two states, life is pretty much normal besides the usual wearing of masks, ensuring physical distancing, washing hands often and all the other basic SOPs. 

However, here are a few things to remember: 

What's different?

  • No interstate travels but interdistrict travel is allowed. 
  • Social gatherings are allowed, provided in full compliance SOPs
  • Religious activities are allowed with the usual SOPs in place. 

Let's do our part and hope we can flatten the curve soon, fellow Malaysians. We've done it once before, and we can do it again.

Stay safe, you all!

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