KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today gave his assurance that no business will be shuttered even with the latest exponential increase in Covid-19 cases nationwide.

He said this includes the Ramadan bazaars a popular way for small traders to make extra money before Muslims celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

“I would like to reiterate that we will not close any business. As of today, that was the decision that we have reached.

“It doesn’t matter whether it is Eid or the fasting month or the Ramadan bazaar or the night market. I believe that when the time comes, the decision will remain the same,” he told reporters at the government’s official Chinese New Year reception held at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton Hotel here.

He added that his Cabinet will seek the Health Ministry’s advice for the standard operating procedures at a later date.

“On the SOP, we will have to discuss it with the Health Ministry,” he said.

Ismail Sabri first gave his assurance two days ago that Putrajaya will not reintroduce a movement control order or declare another Emergency despite the spike of Covid-19 cases in the country.

He said Malaysians need to live with Covid-19 and view it as endemic, just like other infectious diseases.

Ismail Sabri said restricting movement and closing economic sectors would burden Malaysians greatly, especially as things were just beginning to return to a state of normalcy.

Four days ago, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim gave a nod to Ramadan bazaars in the three Federal Territories Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan to be allowed to operate in full force this year in compliance with the existing SOP.

He said licences to operate the Ramadan bazaars will be issued to people who intend to do business to drive economic activities in the Federal Territories.

Last year, the National Security Council allowed Ramadan and Aidilfitri bazaars to operate under tight public health measures that included curfews, mandatory check ins on the MySejahtera Covid-19 contact tracing application and temperature checks at the entrance to the premises.