Here is Malaysia’s big news tonight as pre-empted hours earlier: The country will be under lockdown for 2 weeks.
According to Malaysian English daily The Star on Monday (16 Mar), Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the government will impose a restricted movement order from 18-31 Mar to control the Covid-19 outbreak.
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He declared this in a public address on national television — right after Malaysia confirmed 125 new Covid-19 cases today (16 Mar).
Their national tally stands at 553 – now the worst-hit country in Southeast Asia – with 511 still hospitalised and another 42 discharged.
This restricted movement order entails that Malaysians are barred from travelling overseas, while foreign tourists and visitors cannot enter the country.
If you’re Malaysian and you already have a ticket home during this period, you can still return. But you’ll be required to undergo health screening and a 14-day self-quarantine, reports The Star.
That’s not all. Muhyiddin also announced that during this time, all educational institutions will be closed:
All higher learning public and private institutions, as well as skills training institutes in the country, are included.
What else does the restricted movement order mean for Malaysians?
Muhyiddin shared that there’ll be no mass assemblies nationwide, and this includes religious, sports, social and cultural activities. He said,
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 added that government and private premises are not spared from closure either. All to be closed except for those proffering “essential services”.
These services include:
Muhyiddin urges everyone to remain calm in such difficult, uncertain times. These quotes were plucked from The Star’s report of his televised address.
I understand that you may feel that this action that has been taken by the government will result in inconvenience and problems in your daily lives.
But he felt that this was a necessary action to curb the spread of Covid-19 “that could potentially take the lives of the people in this country.”
We have seen a sudden increase in the Covid-19 outbreak from a few hundreds to a few thousands in such a short span of time in other countries. I am sure, you would not want the same thing to happen to our country.
Hence, the government cannot afford to wait until the situation becomes dire.
Such drastic action needed to be made immediately to prevent the spread of the virus by limiting people’s movements.
It was a difficult decision to make. But props to the Malaysian government for acting quickly so that they can find ways to contain the outbreak.
Hopefully, actions taken within the coming 2 weeks of lockdown will be fruitful, and that we would see a drastic decrease in reported cases come April.
Are you affected by the Malaysia lockdown? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image adapted from Times of India.
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