He said the government will thoroughly consider all possible consequences before deciding on the next course of action after the current movement control order (MCO) expires on Feb 4.
Ismail was addressing speculations which were rife on social media of a possible total lockdown after an internal circular by the EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Eurocham) leaked to the public recently.
In a media briefing, the senior minister noted that Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had hinted about replacing the current MCO with a conditional MCO next month.
However, Ismail reiterated that nothing is set in stone until the National Security Council meets before Feb 4.
“We want to look after the health of the people, but we also want to protect their interests, especially the poor. If we shut, the economy will be affected.
“As a result, 2.8 million people will risk losing their jobs, 2.5 million people will have their livelihoods impacted, and losses per month for B40 (bottom 40 percent income earners) will be at RM6.4 billion with an average of RM2,400 per family,” he said.
Between March and October 2020, 13,445 companies had permanently closed their operations due to the MCO, he added.