Putrajaya says 2 per family can leave home for essential travel, as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease

Putrajaya says 2 per family can leave home for essential travel, as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease

People wait in line to be tested for coronavirus at a makeshift centre, during the movement control
People wait in line to be tested for coronavirus at a makeshift centre, during the movement control order due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia April 18, 2020. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng

KUALA LUMPUR: Two people from the same household will now be allowed to travel in the same car to purchase daily necessities, amid early signs of COVID-19 restrictions being eased in Malaysia.

Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a daily press conference on Wednesday (Apr 29) that they will also be allowed to obtain their daily necessities, health and medical services beyond the travel limit, provided those services are not available within 10km from their residence.

“The standard operating procedure (SOP) before this only allowed travel for one person in the vehicle within a 10km radius, and beyond 10km with the police’s discretion,” he said.

Malaysia is currently enforcing a movement control order (MCO) that restricts domestic and international travel to rein in the spread of COVID-19. 

The MCO, which came into effect on Mar 18, has been extended three times until May 12. Wednesday marked the start of the fourth phase of MCO.

A member of the Royal Malaysia Police checks a travel document during the Movement Control Order
A member of the Royal Malaysia Police checks a travel document during the Movement Control Order, limiting the activities of people in Malaysia as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, in Kuala Lumpur on Mar 25, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

As of Wednesday, Malaysia recorded a total of 5,945 cases, with 100 deaths. Recovery rate was 68.75 per cent.

Attributing the plateauing of new infections to the MCO measures, Health Ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said the country is entering the recovery phase.

READ: COVID-19 - Former Malaysian deputy minister pleads not guilty after being charged with spreading fake news of crowds at Johor’s CIQ complex

Beginning Monday, students at higher education institutes, who have been confined to their campus hostels for over a month under the MCO, have also begun returning home in stages.

In the latest phase of MCO, economic sectors that were previously allowed to operate during the first three phrases can run at full operational capacity, according to an announcement by Senior Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali. 

Dr Noor Hisham said on Wednesday that the Ministry of Health would monitor the situation for up to four weeks before proposing to reopen the social and educational sectors. 

"We suggested and proposed the economic sectors be reopened first. The social and educational sector, we'll delay a bit," he said. 

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Source: CNA/vt

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