KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Wednesday (May 5) that Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru are among the places under a movement control order (MCO) from May 7 to May 20, as the government retightened restrictions amid soaring COVID-19 cases.
This comes after the minister said on Tuesday that six districts in Selangor would be under MCO effective May 6 up until May 17.
In a statement, Mr Ismail Sabri said: "From Apr 1 to Apr 27, the Ministry of Health (MOH) verified that there were 17 new clusters in Kuala Lumpur, with the number of daily cases increasing. After evaluating the health ministry's presentation and suggestions, the government has agreed to enforce MCO in the whole of Kuala Lumpur from May 7 to May 20."
For the districts of Johor Bahru, Kulai and Kota Tinggi, the MOH reported that the number of active cases were high with many being sporadic cases in the community, he added.
"Besides that, these three districts in the state are red zones with cases exceeding 150."
Mr Ismail Sabri said after a risk assessment, it was decided that all three districts in Johor would also be placed under MCO from May 7 to May 20.
READ: Prayers, visiting allowed in Malaysia during Hari Raya but restrictions will apply, says Ismail Sabri
Additionally, 14 sub-districts in Besut, Terengganu, as well as the sub-district of Taiping in Perak would also be placed under MCO.
For areas under MCO, social events such as weddings, reunions and retreats are prohibited, the minister added.
Dining-in at food premises is also not allowed.
SCHOOLS IN SELANGOR, KL AND PUTRAJAYA TO CLOSE FROM THURSDAY
Meanwhile, schools in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya will be closed on Thursday and Friday, authorities announced.
Earlier in the day, Selangor Chief Minister Amirudin Shahri said during a press conference: "After examining and reevaluating the (COVID-19) situation in the state, this morning we decided that all educational institutions in the state, not limited to the six districts under the movement control order (MCO), will be shut from May 6.
“By this, I mean all schools including Islamic schools under the state will be closed. We hope private schools will follow suit and cease operation as well until after Hari Raya or after the Teaching and Learning at Home (PDPR) period currently set for 10 days after the celebrations.”
Mr Amirudin added: “We think the risk in schools is very high. Although I acknowledge the fact that schools adhere to the SOPs strictly, a large number of cases in the state currently involve schools. It spreads, among the teachers and the staff and all."
The Education Ministry added in a statement that schools in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya would be closed on May 6 and May 7 as well.
"The decision by the Education Ministry to close schools is to reduce movements within the community and between states, given that these two federal districts are bordering Selangor districts," it said.
Last week, Education Minister Radzi Jidin said schools would be closed for a further two weeks after the week-long Hari Raya holidays.
Thereafter, the mid-year school break will kick in from May 28 or May 29 until Jun 12 or Jun 13, depending on the state.
On Wednesday, Malaysia saw 3,744 new COVID-19 cases, raising the cumulative total to 424,376.