The Malaysian government has imposed a restricted movement order resembling a partial lockdown that will limit public movement from March 18th up until the 31st. The Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the order over a special telecast at 10pm today. This is an effort to slow down the spread of the deadly Covid-19.
The order will involve the following:
1. A ban on all mass gatherings, including religious, sports, social and cultural activities.
All business premises will have to close, except supermarkets, wet markets, grocery shops and convenience stores.
2. All Malaysians are banned from travelling abroad while Malaysians returning from abroad will have to undergo health screenings and undergo self-quarantine for 14 days.
3. Entry restrictions for foreign tourists and visitors.
4. The suspension of all schools and learning institutions.
5. All higher learning institutions and skill training centres will have to close.
6. All government and private premises must close except for essential services – water, electricity, energy, telecommunications, postal services, transport, maritime, fuel, gas, lubricants, broadcast, financial services, banking, healthcare, pharmacies, fire and rescue, jails, ports, airports, security, defence, cleaning and supplying of food.
The announcement also said that work from home arrangements for the civil service and private sector should be encouraged, except for essential services. All public gathering venues, such as places of worship, cinemas and entertainment centres, are to be closed. All these places must also be sanitised. Muhyiddin also said that all public transport networks will remain open and subjected to sanitisation works.
Muhyiddin said he was aware that these measures would cause public inconvenience, but it was a necessity to curb the spread of Covid-19 that would cost lives.
He said that as a nation, we cannot afford to wait for the situation to get worse and drastic measures were necessary to curb the spread of the virus. He urged Malaysians to be patient in facing this challenge and not panic.
Muhyiddin promised that food supplies, necessities and face masks will be sufficient during this period. “This is our joint responsibility and we must do it together, for our families, society and country,” he said.
More updates to follow