MCO: Travelling beyond 10 km for hospital and health services, buying medicine now officially permitted

The 10 km radius ruling as part of the movement control order (MCO) has raised some concern among those who need periodic health care and medical services, which are often not in the immediate vicinity. There have been reported cases of cancer patients allegedly turned away at police roadblocks despite possessing letters for treatment.

Health minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob subsequently assured the public that police officers had the discretion to allow travel beyond the stipulated 10 km for those seeking medical treatment or buying medicine.

Now, that has been made crystal clear, as Adham has gazetted a regulation that allows people to do so, if medical services are unavailable within the 10 km zone. The prevention and control of infectious diseases (measures within local infected areas) (No 3) regulations 2020 was gazetted yesterday, and it will be in effect until April 28, which is the final day of the current phase three of the MCO.

According to CodeBlue, besides for medical treatment, the regulation also applies to buying medicine, food, daily necessities and dietary supplements.

Section 4(1)(b) of the regulation states that when seeking healthcare or medical services, one can only move within a radius of not more than 10 km from their residence, “or to a place nearest to his residence if health care or medical services are not available at a place within a radius of not more than ten kilometres from his residence”. The 10 km rule has also been relaxed for Sarawak, where distances are long in rural areas.

Another related MCO ruling is the one-person-per-car rule. For those seeking medical treatment, he or she can be accompanied by another person, but this exemption is not applicable for those buying medicine and other goods, unless it’s “reasonably necessary” to do so.

There you have it – one is allowed to travel beyond 10 km to the hospital for medical services, and he/she can be accompanied by someone. Of course, you’ll need proof. Otherwise, one should not push it as the authorities have vowed to come down harder on those roaming with no valid reason – no more RM1,000 compound in this third phase of the MCO, it’s straight to the courts.

We, and many, have noticed that of late, the roads in Klang Valley are getting busier and there are more people heading out. The long roadblock queue in Puchong made the evening news yesterday, and a Grab driver’s observations also went viral.

As of yesterday evening, Malaysia has nearly 5,000 Covid-19 cases and 82 deaths from the novel coronavirus. The curve may have been flattening, but it’s clear that we’re not out of the woods yet, so please stay at home unless it’s for essentials. Let’s hunker down and get this over and done with, let’s make our MCO sacrifices worthwhile and not throw away the gains because of impatience.

Tags: COVID-19

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