COVID-19: Malaysia under nationwide movement control order from Wed until March 31

COVID-19: Malaysia under nationwide movement control order from Wed until March 31

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has declared that Malaysia will be placed under nationwide movement control order from March 18 to March 31, 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The order, the first in the country’s history, was announced by the prime minister in a live broadcast over national television tonight.

A total of 125 new positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported as of noon today, bringing the total in Malaysia to 553 cases.

“The order was made under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967,” he said.

Muhyiddin said the order entails comprehensive restriction on movements and public gatherings throughout the country including religious, sports, social and cultural activities.

With the enforcement of this order, all houses of worship and business premises should be closed, except for supermarkets, wet markets, grocery shops and convenience stores selling daily necessities, he said.

The prime minister said the order also means that all pre-schools, government and private schools, fully residential schools, international schools, tahfiz centres, and other primary, secondary and pre-university educational institutions should be closed during the same period.

It also involves the closure of all private and public institutions of higher learning and skills training institutes in the country, he added.

The prime minister said it also involves a comprehensive restriction on all Malaysians travelling abroad. For those who have just returned from overseas, they are required to undergo a health check and to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The restriction also covers the entry of all foreign tourists and visitors into the country, he said.

Muhyiddin also said all government and private premises would be closed, except for those providing essential services.

They are those involved in water, electricity, energy, telecommunications, postal, transport, irrigation, oil, gas, fuel, lubricants, broadcasting, finance, banking, health, pharmacy, fire brigade, prison, port, airport, security, defence, cleaning, retail and food supplies.

“I am aware that all of you may feel that the action taken by the government will cause inconvenience and difficulty in your daily lives.

“However, this action must be taken by the government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic that is likely to cost the lives of people of this country,” he said.

The prime minister also gave an assurance that food supplies, daily essentials and healthcare, including items such as face masks were sufficient.

“I have directed the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to constantly monitor food supplies and daily essentials in the market throughout the enforcement of the movement control order,” he said.

Muhyiddin said he will be chairing daily meetings of the Special Conference of the National Security Council to monitor developments regarding COVID-19, which will be then shared with the public from time to time.

He said the government’s priority right now is to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, which is feared can infect more Malaysians, adding that as such, this drastic action of restricting the movement of the public was necessary to curb the spread of the disease.

“I appeal to everyone to always comply with this movement control order. It is our common responsibility that we must implement as citizens who are concerned about our family, our society and our country.

“I believe that with the movement restrictions implemented by the government, we are able to block the transmission of the epidemic in the near future,” he added.

Any enquiries on the movement control order can be directed to the National Operations Management Centre at hotline 03-88882010 beginning noon on Tuesday (May 17).

The prime minister took the opportunity to thank all health workers, civil servants and all those who have worked hard day and night to curb the plague. - Bernama