Khairy Jamaluddin (Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge)

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 24): In order to reduce the risk of infection and sudden increase in Covid-19 cases, any election-related gatherings or social activities will not be allowed, effective Monday (Oct 25) until Nov 27, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Khairy said that the ban will include the organisation of election machinery launching ceremonies.

“Based on the monitoring by the Ministry of Health (MOH), among the contributors to the increase in cases and Covid-19 clusters in the country were related to the activities of gatherings or social gatherings that did not comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs),” he said in a statement today.

He said that MOH expects similar activities to take place, leading up to the Melaka state election on Nov 20.

“As the risk of Covid-19 infection is still high, especially with the spread of the Delta variant in the community, and the increasing number of new Covid-19 cases that have been reported, such activities will further increase the risk of Covid-19 infection within the community,” he said.

The Election Commission has set the nomination date for the Melaka state election for Nov 8, with the voting date set for Nov 20.

Khairy explained that this ban is in line with the list of unauthorised activities (negative list) in the latest SOPs for states under Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan.

He stressed that individuals, organisers of any activity, and organisations may be subject to legal action, such as a compound or prosecution in court, for failing to comply with regulations stipulated under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

“All parties are required to comply with the rules, SOPs, and instructions that have been set, to curb the spread of Covid-19 infection and prevent an increase in cases and emergence of clusters,” he said.

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