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Malaysia to stay in phase one of the NRP, the four-phase recovery plan that will hopefully steer us out of the pandemic

Phase one of the NRP, which was scheduled to end today, will be extended. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the extension was necessary as the number of Covid-19 cases in the country has not dipped below the targeted threshold value of 4,000 required to move to the next phase.

Read more: Covid-19: Malaysia Goes Into Full Lockdown (FMCO) From June 1, 2021

The NRP was put in place starting June 1, 2021, with a total nationwide lockdown which involves the full closure of social and economic sectors. Initially targeted for two weeks, it was then extended until June 28. However, as Malaysia is still averaging 5,000 cases a day nearly a month into the lockdown, recording 5,586 new cases and 60 deaths on June 27, the country is unable to exit phase one and move into phase two.

Here's what you need to know about the NRP, which will transition in stages:

The three key conditions to be met in phase one, the most critical stage for Malaysia's public health system, include getting daily Covid-19 cases to drop below 4,000, the rate of bed use in ICUs returning to 'moderate' levels, and 10 per cent of the population fully vaccinated. During this phase, only essential services are allowed to operate such as F&B, health and medical care, water, energy, transportation and logistics, finance, media and communications, e-commerce, and hotels and accommodation (for the purpose of quarantine and isolation).

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If successful, Malaysia will go into phase two of the NRP, targeted to last until the end of August 2021. This will allow the reopening of some sectors in the economy that doesn’t involve large gatherings as well as adhering to physical distancing. Before going into the next phase, daily Covid-19 cases has to drop below 2,000, there should be 'sufficient' ICU beds available, and 40 per cent of the population must be fully vaccinated.

During phase three, almost all economic sectors will be allowed to operate with strict SOPs together with limited physical presence in the workplace. The social sector will reopen gradually, and Parliament and schools will reopen. For phase three transitioning into phase four, Malaysia is required to record less than 500 daily Covid-19 cases, have 'sufficient' demand on intensive care capacity, and 60 per cent full vaccination in the country. This is expected to be achieved by the end of October 2021.

Read more: The Covid-19 Vaccines In Malaysia's National Vaccination Programme

Following the completion of the three phases, phase four of the NRP, scheduled to roll out in November until December 2021, will see the full reopening of the economy.

Additionally, Muhyiddin is also expected to announce additional financial assistance this week for various groups in the country who have been directly affected by phase one of the NRP. He said the government is working hard to ensure that the 12 million people or households in the country are given appropriate assistance and support to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including small-medium enterprises (SMEs).

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"We are aware everyone is waiting to see how the government is going to help those affected during this phase (of NRP) and subsequent phases until the end of the year. Of course, there will be assistance for B40, M40 and loan moratorium for the T20 (eligible) group," Malay Mail quoted the prime minister as saying.