Malaysia

Minister: Tourism Ministry hopes for new approach to curb spread of Covid-19 other than prohibiting cross-state travel

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Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri speaks to reporters during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur November 17, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri speaks to reporters during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur November 17, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) hopes that there will be a new approach to curbing the spread of Covid-19, other than continuing with prohibiting cross-state travel.

Its minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said this was because the tourism industry involved the movement of people from one location to another.

“When there is no movement, it means there is no tourism and also no economic activities, so it also means no jobs and income for those who have been working in this industry.

“Therefore, I hope for a meeting point which can balance health and the people’s well-being,” she said in a statement today.

Following Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s announcement that allowing cross-district and cross-state travel would be considered if 70 to 80 per cent of the population were already given the Covid-19 vaccine, Nancy said she respected the expertise and views of Dr Noor Hisham on curbing the spread of the viral infection.

“However, at the same time, I am worried that the statement could have a worse impact on the local tourism industry which has already been adversely affected for a year by the pandemic.

“I am not only talking of its impact on the country’s economy, but also thinking about the livelihoods and survival of those in the local tourism industry,” she added.

Hence, Nancy is hoping for new thinking of ways to allow cross-state travel in the interest of the local tourism industry.

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Dr Noor Hisham has also been reported as saying that with the people’s adherence to the standard operating procedure (SOP) concurrently with taking of the Covid-19 vaccine, the country could achieve herd immunity within six to nine more months. — Bernama

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