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Act 342 inadequate to tackle raging Covid-19 — MKN

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 17): The declaration of the Covid-19 emergency is necessary because the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) is no longer adequate to contain the worsening spread of the virus, said the National Security Council (MKN).

MKN said this is because Covid-19 infections have become widespread and not limited to certain localities.

In fact, the daily Covid-19 case figure breached the 4,000 mark yesterday, hitting a record 4,029 to bring the cumulative total for positive cases in Malaysia to 155,095.

MKN, in its FAQ infographics released today, said the period of emergency consented to by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong last week would give space to the government to focus on the country's economic recovery, apart from ensuring and preserving security and public order.

The declaration of emergency, according to MKN, is needed for the Covid-19 curve to be flattened faster and more effectively.

"This is because the government cannot afford any delay in making arrangements with the private sector to use its medical premises and resources like utilities and assets.

"Apart from this, enforcement of regulations to contain the spread of the pandemic can also be carried out faster without being hindered by bureaucracy and cumbersome regulations," it said.

MKN said although Act 342 does provide specific powers to the authorities to secure cooperation from the private sector, the provisions are no longer adequate in the current circumstances.

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