Covid-19: Malaysia bans public gatherings of over 250, to decide on Apec 2020 summit

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PUTRAJAYA (March 12): Malaysia will decide whether to delay or cancel the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) 2020 summit it is scheduled to host in November, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Special Functions) Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said today that the matter will be brought to the Cabinet for further discussion.

Mohd Redzuan said this is in line with the government's new directive to ban public gatherings of over 250 in Malaysia, including international events.

"Such gatherings with huge crowds including scheduled international events in Malaysia will be banned. However, for Apec, we haven't decided whether to delay or cancel it," he told a press conference, after chairing a meeting of the Technical Working Committee for the Covid-19 Cluster.

Asked whether the ban on gatherings will apply to wedding receptions with crowds exceeding 250 people, Mohd Redzuan said the order remains, but advised the public to exercise caution when holding such events.

Meanwhile, the government has come up with a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the prevention of Covid-19 in all types of schools registered under the Education Ministry.

Mohd Redzuan said the SOP entails steps to be taken by school administrations in preventing the spread of the deadly virus, including how to handle individuals who have returned from high-risk countries.

"All schools are advised to refer to the Health Ministry's website for the latest on the pandemic situation in Malaysia, including the list of countries deemed high-risk," he added.