Malaysia is getting into quarantine as the country has now the highest number of COVID-19 infections in Southeast Asia. On Monday night, Malaysia recorded 566 case of coronavirus, a jump of 138 in just 24 hours. Malaysia Prime Minister then announced the complete lockdown of the country starting Wednesday, March 18.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has declared that the entire country will be on a movement control order starting from March 18 to 31 to deal with the rise in Covid-19 cases. Muhyiddin explained in an official telecast speech that the decision was made under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967.
The new rules prohibiting movement and mass assembly nationwide would include all religious, sports, social and cultural activities. “To enforce this prohibition, all places of worship and business premises must be closed except for supermarkets, public markets, grocery stores, and stores selling basic necessities,” he said during his live telecast on Monday night.
The PM explained that Malaysians will be barred from leaving the country and restrictions placed on the entry of all tourists and foreign visitors into Malaysia. “Malaysians who have returned from overseas have to go for a health check-up and undergo self-quarantine for 14 days,” he said.
Muhyiddin added that all nurseries, government and private schools, including boarding schools, international schools, tahfiz centres as well as primary, secondary and pre-university education institutions and universities will immediately close.
“We have seen a sudden increase in Covid-19 cases from a few hundreds to a few thousands in a short span of time in other countries. I am sure, you do not want the same thing to happen in our country.
“We cannot wait any longer until the situation become dire. Such drastic action needed to be made immediately to prevent the spread of the virus by limiting people’s movements,” he told.
Two thirds of the Malaysian cases are due to a religious Muslim gathering at the end of February who attracted 14,000 people to Kuala Lumpur. Only 7,000 of the attendees have come forward for testing. The government fears that more contamination following the gathering will occur including in neighbouring countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore or Thailand.
(Source: The Star)