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Prayers, visiting allowed in Malaysia during Hari Raya but restrictions will apply: Ismail Sabri

Prayers, visiting allowed in Malaysia during Hari Raya but restrictions will apply: Ismail Sabri

A street cleaner works in front of Petronas Twin Towers on Jan 11, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Lim Huey Teng)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government has announced that morning Aidilfitri prayers and Hari Raya visiting will be allowed with restrictions and health protocols in place. 

Speaking during a press conference on Tuesday (May 4), Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said for areas under the movement control order (MCO), Raya visiting will only be allowed on the first day of Aidilfitri, which falls on May 13, with the number of people capped at 15 at any one time depending on the size of the house. 

For areas under conditional or recovery MCOs, Hari Raya visiting will be allowed for the first three days of Aidilfitri from May 13 to May 15. 

For CMCO areas, a maximum of 20 people is allowed while for RMCO, 25 people are allowed. 

"This is also dependent on the size of the house and requires everyone to be socially distanced," said Mr Ismail Sabri. 

Malaysia Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob. (File photo: Bernama)

For enhanced movement control order (EMCO) areas, no Raya visiting is allowed. 

Mr Ismail Sabri added that hosts are encouraged to prepare temperature scanners and use MySejahtera QR codes or keep a logbook of visitors. 

"This is to ensure the safety of us as hosts and secondly, if there are any confirmed cases (of COVID-19), we can conduct contact tracing on all visitors," he said. 

READ: AstraZeneca removed from Malaysia's mainstream COVID-19 immunisation programme due to public concerns, says Khairy

Meanwhile, for the morning Aidilfitri prayers, Mr Ismail Sabri said that they are allowed in areas not classified under EMCO, but highlighted that for the other areas, the respective state religious bodies will determine the maximum number of worshippers and other health protocols required. 

Visiting of graves are allowed for areas under CMCO and RMCO, with a limit of six visitors for each grave. The visits must not exceed 30 minutes. 

Hari Raya open house events are not permitted nationwide. 

MCO IN 6 DISTRICTS IN SELANGOR 

Mr Ismail Sabri, who is also Defence Minister, added that six out of nine districts in Selangor will be placed under MCO from May 6 until May 17, following a spike in the number of cases. 

These districts are Hulu Langat, Petaling, Gombak, Klang, Kuala Langat and Sepang. 

Mr Ismail Sabri said the decision was made by using an early warning system known as Hotspots Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) to identify areas and premises which were at high risk and facilitated the spread of COVID-19. 

Ramadan bazaars are still allowed to operate in these areas, and it is up to the prerogative of the state government to decide if these bazaars should proceed, he added. 

Mr Ismail Sabri added that the travel bubble between RMCO states will be suspended.

READ: Malaysia reports first case of Indian COVID-19 variant

The announcement was made after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin released a statement on Saturday that the government was reviewing COVID-19 measures, especially in areas where there has been a sudden spike in cases. 

"This review is important to ensure that SOPs (standard operating procedures) put in place and action to be taken are effective to curb the spread of COVID-19 which is rising in this country and around the world," said Mr Muhyiddin. 

"Through this system, monitoring is done daily to identify public focal locations which are of high risk," he added. 

Over the last month, Malaysia has seen rising COVID-19 cases, especially in the Klang Valley. 

Last Friday, Malaysia recorded 3,788 new COVID-19 cases - the highest in two and a half months.

On Tuesday, Malaysia saw 3,120 new COVID-19 cases, raising the cumulative total to 420,632.

Active infections have more than doubled since mid-April, increasing from around 15,000 cases to more than 30,000 on Tuesday. 

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Source: CNA/am

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