Following his recent remark, PM Muhyiddin Yassin today has announced the National Recovery Plan (PPN) which has been deemed by the exit strategy to push the country out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Involving four phases, they will take place within the next six months.
The progression of these PPN’s phases depends on three factors which include daily COVID-19 cases, the usage rate of ICU beds, and vaccination rate. By vaccination rate, PM Muhyiddin made it clear that this indicator only counts those that have received both of their vaccine dosages.
PM Muhyiddin further pointed that we are already in Phase 1 with a full lockdown implementation. In order to move on to Phase 2, the number of daily cases needs to drop to under 4,000 while at the same time, the rate of ICU occupancy must be reduced to a more manageable level with 10% of the population to be fully vaccinated.
While these indicators seem like huge challenges at the moment, the government is confident that we could transition to Phase 2 some time in early July. PM Muhyiddin pointed out that more economic sectors will be opened up in Phase 2 although the social sector will continue to be restrictive as per Phase 1.
If everything goes well, then Phase 3 of PPN could take place by the end of August which will allow more businesses to be opened while certain social activities such as education and sports will no longer be prohibited. For Phase 3 to happen, the daily cases need to be under 2,000 with 40% of the population vaccinated while a sufficient amount of ICU beds are also available for COVID-19 patients.
Interesting enough, PM Muhyiddin also said that Parliament will be able to reconvene in September or October placing it right in Phase 3. As for Phase 4 of NRP, the government expects it to happen at the end of October and will last until December.
During this particular phase, daily COVID-19 cases would already drop to under 500 and at least 60% of the population have received the required dosages to complete their vaccination while the national healthcare system would no longer struggle with shortage of ICU beds. As you may expect, this is when all economic sectors are able to be operational again and the public are allowed to engage in more social activities.
Additionally, this is also the point where interstate travel and domestic tourism can take place once again although not surprisingly, they are subjected to strict SOPs. Speaking about SOPs, PM Muhyiddin pointed out that the specific SOPs for all of the PPN phases will be announced by the National Security Council (MKN) very soon.
For those who are expecting to hear about additional relief packages, there was none, unfortunately. The closest you have to a relief package in today’s announcement was just a passing remark to the PEMERKASA+ that was revealed back on 31 May.